Theories and Experiments on Ball Lightning

  • Stanley Singer


The wide range and diverse properties exhibited by ball lightning and contained in the information gradually accumulated in the literature over the past 130 years present a difficult challenge to the natural scientist. Despite an unusual profusion of theories there is no conclusive or widely accepted explanation adequate to account for all the reported properties. The effectiveness of some theories in dealing with a limited number of the properties led in the past to hope that continued study would eventually expand the area of understanding to the more difficult characteristics. The correlation of different theories with different types of ball lightning has been considered rarely, (479) and never completely, despite the frequency with which analysis of observation has led to the conclusion that different types exist. An alternative view presented with perhaps equal frequency has been that the large number of widely different properties which elude understanding by recognized principles exactly indicate that no genuine physical phenomenon is involved. Arago responded to this argument with the query, “Where would we be if we decided to deny everything that we can’t explain?”


Nitrogen Dioxide Lightning Discharge Ball Lightning Lightning Flash Cool Flame 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1971

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  • Stanley Singer

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