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Polymer-Composite Ball Lightning

V. L. Bychkov
Philosophical Transactions: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Vol. 360, No. 1790, Ball Lightning (Jan. 15, 2002), pp. 37-60
Published by: Royal Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3066603
Page Count: 24
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Polymer-Composite Ball Lightning
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Abstract

Investigations into the state of ball lightning (BL) have been made, and both theory and experiments, related to so-called 'polymer-composite' ball lightning, are presented. The properties of such a polymeric BL have been described and are that of a long-lived object capable of storing high energy. Results of experiments, starting with polymeric components in erosive gas discharge experiments, are described and discussed. The model of BL as a highly charged polymer-dielectric structure is described. According to this model BL appears as the result of the aggregation of natural polymers, such as lignin and cellulose, soot, polymeric silica and other natural dust particles. Its ability to glow is explained by the appearance over its perimeter of gas discharges near the highly charged BL surface, and electrical breakdown of some regions on the surface, consisting of polymerized and aggregated threads.

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