Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Physics Context: Ball Lightning is not a UFO! So?

Many studies have suggested that ball lightning is a form of discharge is varied and sustained within microseconds. Although many different observations in a field / space occurrence of ball lightning, but in principle all of which aim to provide a basic understanding that can be used as a comparison in explaining the process of ball lightning. In explanation, the Poisson equations are a method of approach that can provide an understanding of an equation of the electron and ion movement in explaining the occurrence of ball lightning.

The process of ball lightning (Lowke, 2002: 2) are usually produced by local lightning strikes and it looks similar to the glowing ball with a diameter of approximately 1-25 cm resembles such intensity incandescent lamp 20 Watt, located about 1m above ground and have a movement velocity of 3 m / s, a duration for approximately 10 seconds. Despite much research and experimentation with this, but there is no a complete and thorough explanation of the occurrence of ball lightning. The results indoors and in the plane, found that ball lightning passing through the closed glass window does not cause the slightest damage to the glass. These observations, heat production is incorporated in the ball lightning could not be observed (Uman, 1988: 10). The heat contained in the ball lightning could scorch the wood (Keunen, 1998: 5). Formation of ozone and nitrogenoksida after ball lightning occurs may cause the transistor radio receiver.

In addition to the theories mentioned above, there are also observations expressed as a "fantasy theory". This theory explained the situation remains of ball lightning which lasted more than 10 seconds.

At one point lightning struck the earth's surface, some of which are generally negative charges moving from cloud to earth through an arc of lightning. Positive charge is also moving from earth into the clouds within 1 m/s. In this case, it is assumed that the earth is the best conductor for the spread of the charge. The spread of the charge on a wide range of lightning strikes that were negative ions (negative ions has a lower mobility) is on the water is 0001 Cm^2/V/s, while distributing loads over vast distances, i.e. from a point where a bolt lightning that move along the filament adjacent to the earth's surface will produce an electric field above the earth and so become a source of energy and movement of ball lightning.

Source :
Abduh, S. 2002. Bola Listrik sebagai Bentuk Pelepasan Muatan Listrik: Suatu Kajian Teoritikal. Access able at http://blog.trisakti.ac.id/jetri/files/2010/02/2.1.1syamsir.pdf

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