Ball Lightning and Bead Lightning: Extreme Forms of by James Barry

By James Barry

The objective of this monograph is to check the recognized actual points of 2 strange different types of atmospheric luminous phenomena, to infer their features and houses, and to advertise efforts to enhance their realizing. those kinds, referred to as ball lightning and bead lightning, have visible photos that vary from the linear picture linked to normallightning. The phrases "balliightning" and "bead lightning" are used to indicate atmospheric luminous types that are sometimes saw and feature the geometrie form instructed via their identify. Vet, it really is attainable that neither phenomenon may possibly in truth be a sort of lightning within the feel of a continuing electric discharge. Bead lightning has been defined because the residue of a cloud-to­ cloud or cloud-to-ground lightning stroke and has the looks of aseries of luminous balls separated by means of darkish areas, hence reminiscent of astring of pearls, and is still noticeable for roughly one moment. Ball lightning has been defined as a unmarried luminous globe showing ne ar the floor after a lightning stroke and likewise last noticeable for approximately one moment. either phenomena stay obvious a long way longer than common lightning flashes.

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Extra info for Ball Lightning and Bead Lightning: Extreme Forms of Atmospheric Electricity

Example text

A lifetime of this length or less was reported or indicated in about 80% of the re ports examined. In about 40% of these cases, the lifetime was deduced from data reported by the observer. For instance, one observer reported seeing a ball lightning move through a window into a room, slowly cross to the other side, and violently disappear. The speed of balliightning was estimted by the observer at about the speed of a person's walk. Assuming the distance traversed by the ball lightning to be about 7 m and its speed to be 2 m sec 1 (a normal walking speed), a lifetime of a few seconds is deduced.

Consequently, we assurne that the mass density of ball lightning is similar to that of air but make no assumption regarding minor constituents that may be present. It should be recognized that small mass density asymmetries have not been considered. The density of a ball lightning being approximately that of air contradicts the concept that balliightning is a fully ionized plasma and that its temperature is extremely high. A high temperature is defined as greater than I0 40 K. A very hot gas would be expected to expandrapidly and diffuse into the surrounding air.

Foster (1947) reported that a ball lightning hit a pole but caused no damage. It would appear that there is some contradiction among the various reports. The cause of the contradictions is unknown but some investigators have speculated that several forms of ball lightning exist. Since many of the re ports indicate damage or injury by a ball lightning, it would be wise to avoid such encounters. Lifetime. The lifetime of a ball lightning is most often reported to be only 1-2 sec. A lifetime of this length or less was reported or indicated in about 80% of the re ports examined.

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