This study was tasked with the purpose of conducting a major literature review of the ball lightning phenomenon to explore the observations, experimental tests, and theories. The best ideas and tests were segregated for further analysis and are summarized in this report. A combined bibliography of references was assembled and is presented. The focus of this study was to review and analyze the axially symmetric force-free time-harmonic plasmoid model developed by Nachamkin (1992) for a previous Air Force Research Laboratory study. The intent of the Nachamkin model was to bring together a unique blend of properties proposed by investigators exploring the genre of microwave plasmoid resonance ball lightning models. The main goal of this study is to evaluate and propose experiments to demonstrate the generation of axially symmetric force-free plasmoid ball lightning in the laboratory. Two key experiments were identified and discussed in the report with enough detail to form the basis of future research proposals. An investigation was also conducted into additional promising theories and experiments that might lead to generating ball lightning plasmoids in the lab. Three alternative ball lightning concepts similar to axially symmetric force-free time-harmonic plasmoids were identified and evaluated for their experimental potential, and are described in the report in detail as proposed experiments.

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Ball Lightning Study, February 2003 by Dr. Eric Davis / Warp Drive Metrics [71 Pages, 1MB]




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