Fwd = [EWAR] Squishy Ball Lightning
- From: ewar@...
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2003 18:44:09 -0700
From: "Terry W. Colvin" <fortean1@...>
Subject: Squishy Ball Lightning
Science Frontiers, No. 150, Nov-Dec, 2003, p. 4
< http://www.science-frontiers.com >
Squishy Ball Lightning
Ball lightning is noted for its ability to slip through crack under doors
and even pass ("magically") through closed glass window panes. One has to
suspect that a novel form of matter is involved---probably a strange form
of plasma. Ordinarily, plasmas are simply clouds of equal numbers of ions
and electrons. Such plasmas do not exhibit the weird antics of ball
lightning. Certainly, we do not expect common plasmas to be squishy
enough and cohesive enough to squeeze through cracks and keyholes.
J.J. Gilman suggests that ball lightning might be a plasma containing
"Rydberg atoms." In Rydberg atoms, the outer electrons have been
excited to very high quantum numbers (as high as 10 and 10!). These
electrons may orbit several *centimeters* distant from their parent atoms,
thereby producing according to Gilman, a "floppy" electron cloud. A plasma
containing a high population of Rydberg atoms would probably exhibit
albeit cohesive properties.
(Ball, Philip; "Squishy Ball Lightning," *Nature*, 425:253, 2003.)
Cross reference. The Fall 2003 issue of the *Journal of Scientific
Exploration* includes a 61-page article by D.J. Turner entitled "The
Missing Science of Ball Lightning."
See: < http://www.scientificexploration.org >.
“Only a zit on the wart on the heinie of progress.” Copyright 1992, Frank
Terry W. Colvin, Sierra Vista, Arizona (USA) < fortean1@... >
Alternate: < fortean1@... >
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