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What is Ball Lightning Made of?
June 9, 2009 19:14

Ball lightning

Russian scientists suggested a principally new cluster model of a lightning ball – a plasma crystal, formed by water kvatarons. This hypothesis gives explanations to the majority of observed properties of ball lightnings, especially their great destructive power.

Ball lightning is a well known, however, a rare phenomenon. It doubtlessly exists, but its formation mechanism and nature remain obscure. In order to study ball lightnings, scientists need to learn making this type of lightnings in a laboratory, but currently they do not know to. All they get are short-living glowing formations, but researchers cannot be sure these formations are ball lightnings.

Researchers from various countries suggested numerous hypotheses about nature of the ball lightning; however, not a single hypothesis is widely recognized. The most substantiated hypothesis comes from the Russian scientist I. Stakhanov, who thinks that ball lightning consists of unusual plasma or positive and negative ions, covered with water molecules, which make lightning more stable.

Another Russian scientist, corresponding member of Russian Academy of Sciences Askhab Askhabov believes that ball lightning is a plasma crystal, formed by water kvatarons. This hypothesis is based upon the idea of hollow water nanoclusters, also known as kvatarons. Over 100 ywears ago Scottish scientist Charles Wilson discovered that water vapour contained electrically neutral clusters of water molecules. Existence of such clusters was many times confirmed in experiments, and kvataron theory appeared several years ago. The theory says that water clusters spontaneously form in oversaturated water vapour. These clusters may contain various amounts of water molecules and form various spatial structures. They are a new state of matter per se, which cannot be described by ordinary parameters of gaseous, liquid or solid state of matter. While condensing, electrically neutral kvatarons form liquid water. When kvatarons carry similar charges, they are unable to condense, but can form some ordered structures under certain conditions. Similar structures, which form in plasma by charged particles, are thoroughly studied. Mr. Askhabov tends to think that ball lightning is a type of plasma, in which charged kvatarons act like particles.



Since kvatarons contain tens or even hundreds of molecules, their charge is significant. However, heavy charge increases distance between particles, thus weakening Coulomb interactions and causing collapse of a ball lightning. Kvataron model explains great destructive power of a ball lightning. Energy, necessary for “life” and glowing of a ball lightning, is a sum of energies, coming from particles that form the lightning. Calculations show that this energy depends on kvatarons charge and can reach hundred thousands Joules – enough for anything a ball lightning might want to do.

The scientist believes that all properties of ball lightning can be explained with concentration and size of kvatarons, as well as their charge size. These parameters define energy density inside a ball lightning. Glowing formations, which scientists get in laboratories, probably have the same nature. Moreover, kvatarons can appear in vapours of other substances and form glowing balls.

Source: Science News

Kizilova Anna

Tags: Russian Scientists     

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