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Ball Lightning Page
W. Beaty,  BSEE

BALL LIGHTNING does not look like "lightning." Instead, it usually appears as a mysterious glowing sphere which drifts horizontally through the air. It is typically the size of a grapefruit, but sometimes appears as small as a pea, or as large as a bus. It sometime hovers at a few feet or tens of feet altitude, but can also bounce along the ground. It usually lasts only a few seconds, but sometimes persists much longer. Various colors of "BL" have been seen, sometimes it changes colors, and sometimes it has internal structures such as glowing layers or moving sparks. Sometimes it disappears silently, other times it explodes with extreme violence.

At one time BL was thought to be extremely rare, but the cause turned out to be self-fulfilling prophecy: most BL eyewitnesses feared ridicule and wouldn't come forward. In reality, roughly five percent of the population has seen BL close up. Today most researchers agree that it is real, yet its nature is still highly controversial, and no sensible theories yet exist to explain it. (For example, BL cannot be hot plasma, since plasma would be much lighter than air and would immediately rise like fire, or like a balloon.) See Scientific American's Ask the Experts under BALLLIGHTNING, also SAINT ELMO'SFIRE

Make Your Own Ball Lightning?!

("Maser theory" plasmoids in kitchen microwave oven)
LOOKING FOR BOOKS? Try searching

(try "atmospheric electricity" too)

Ball Lightning Research

Journals with Ball Lightning on the WWW

Links to Other Websites:

"It is not uncommon for engineers to accept the reality of phenomena that are not yet understood, as it is very common for physicists to disbelieve the reality of phenomena that seem to contradict contemporary beliefs of physics" - H. Bauer

"Round about the accredited and orderly facts of every science there ever floats a sort of dust-cloud of exceptional observations, of occurrences minute and irregular and seldom met with, which it always proves more easy to ignore than to attend to... Anyone will renovate his science who will steadily look after the irregular phenomena, and when science is renewed, its new formulas often have more of the voice of the exceptions in them than of what were supposed to be the rules." - William James

OLD LINKS GONE BAD? Try, "The Wayback Machine"
It offers billions of old websites and even some of the graphics. But
it's not searchable. You have to know the URL of the old site. Or
just add this snippet in front of any URL: http:// web.archive .org/web/*/
Created and maintained by Bill Beaty. .
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