Ball lightning as electromagnetic torus of nitric oxide

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See also: Electron-ionic model of ball lightning, Sergei Fedosin.

Ball lightning as electromagnetic torus of nitric oxide

by Sergei G. Fedosin
Source in Russian:

The nature of ball lightning, despite the many assumptions about the mechanism of their formation and even successful attempts to recreate them in the laboratory, is still a mysterious phenomenon.

In [1] VA Konovalenko proposed to explain the so-called "Podkletnov effect", which the author calls the effect "managed gravitational momentum," use the concept of longitudinal electric waves in the form of electromagnetic torus. E. Podkletnov in their experiments used the high-voltage discharge using crystalline superconductors. With increasing voltage up to 500 kV front moving discharge becomes flat with a diameter corresponding to the diameter of the emitter. Discharge time was assessed as 10-4 ~ 10-5 s. The amplitude of the discharge current for the maximum voltage of 2 MV was about 10 4 A. The energy pulse can be estimated from 50 to 500 kJ above. At a distance of 6 to 150 meters from the unit in another building were installed measuring devices as pendulums in vacuum flasks. Pendulum at the moment of discharge repulsive pulse obtained despite the fact that they were separated from the radiating Position brick wall. On this basis, the authors attributed this effect experiments with "gravitational momentum."

VA Konovalenko proposed to explain the experiments Eugene Podkletnov Podkliotnov without invoking concepts of gravitational fields and pulses. For this he used two physical phenomena: the generation and diffusion of smoke rings and the propagation of an electromagnetic wave along a linear conductor. Smoke ring is a toroidal vortex, which can be sent if the outer layers of gas flow rate report, opposite the main flow velocity. Sommerfeld theoretically and practically Goubaux then showed that a straight wire with a smooth surface can serve as a guide system for transmitting electromagnetic waves [1]. We can assume that in the experiments Podkliotnov was implemented in a way to create space electromagnetic wave as a torus (Fig. 1). Such a wave is able to penetrate through obstacles such as walls and applying mechanical forces on the measuring device in the path of the wave.

Fig.1. Electromagnetic torus.

It seems quite clear that the proposed mechanism of formation of a toroidal electromagnetic waves can be used to explain the basic properties of ball lightning.

Main characteristics of the average fireball following:

diameter - 28 + 4 cm,
lifetime - 100.95 + 0.25 seconds
speed - 4 + 1 m / s,
the energy - 101.3 + 0.2 kJ

numbers (in parentheses, the relative frequency of observations%) - White (24) Yellow (24), red (18), orange (18), blue and purple (12).

Contact electrical phenomena - (70 +10)% fireballs observed during thunderstorms, over 80% of cases between June and August, 50% of the destruction of the fireballs with the explosion occurred in the remaining cases had disintegrated into parts or slow fading [2].

As is known, when lightning occurs, a linear conductive channel forms by ionized air through which lightning [passes] and spreads. Accordingly, preconditions for the formation of ball lightning. With the high voltage ionization of air form the oxides of nitrogen including nitric oxide NO. Nitric oxide is an active radical molecule with an unpaired electron and the corresponding magnetic moment, the lifetime of the air which is about ten seconds [3]. The oxidation of nitrogen monoxide with ozone, nitrogen dioxide formed. Thus at the transition from the excited state to the ground emits a light nitrogen dioxide over a wide range - from a maximum in the infrared region, but some of the radiation is in the visible region. Nitric oxide in the air can oxidize explosively.

It can be assumed that the formation of a toroidal electromagnetic wave with a linear discharge will be accompanied by the involvement of nitric oxide due to its paramagnetic properties in the vortex motion, which will maintain a circular magnetic field in the torus. On the surface will oxidize nitric oxide, which will be accompanied by luminescence. If the torus will also rotate around an arbitrary axis, the observer will be visible as a glowing ball. However, on the rare movie shooting a fireball that was featured in the film on Russian television June 18, 2005, could be seen at some point dark round spot in the center of lightning, indicating that the toroidal form of ball lightning.Observations show that up to 80% of cases of ball lightning in the summer months.

Apparently, this is not accidental. Previously we have shown that the air content in N-nitroso compounds which are derivatives of nitrogen oxides, it had a maximum in the summer time. [4]

It was at this time of year that photoionization of nitric oxide occurs when exposed to UV components of solar radiation on the earth's surface or reservoirs of nitrites and nitrates [5]. Part of nitrogen monoxide formed in the atmosphere reacts with the secondary amines representing organic decomposition products, and to form N-nitroso compounds (HC), which are extremely stable compounds.

N-nitroso compounds content in the air can vary greatly from year to year and is likely to depend on solar activity [4]. In 1990, the content of the National Assembly (and NITROSODIETHYLAMINE NDMA) in the air in the suburbs of St. Petersburg is presented in Figure 2. As can be seen from the figure, the maximum content of NA in the air occurs in the summer period.

Fig.2. NA content in the air in 1990 near St. Petersburg

We estimate the potential energy content of fireballs on the assumption that one of the main components is nitric oxide. Volume of a torus with a diameter of 28 cm can be estimated as 9 dm 3 . This amount corresponds to 0.4 moles of gas under normal conditions. To form 1 mole of NO is required to expend 21,600 calories or 90.7 kJ then oxidized to nitrogen dioxide released 19,000 calories or 80 kJ [6]. In the oxidation of 0.4 moles of NO free up 32 kJ of energy. Energy fireballs evaluated in the range of 0.2 to 1.5 kJ MJ, an average of 20 kJ [2], ie our estimate of the energy content close to the average energy of ball lightning, especially when you consider that in addition to nitric oxide may be present inside the torus and other gas components.

Thus, the basic properties of ball lightning can be satisfactorily explained by the presence in their structure of nitric oxide, and their structure is probably associated with the formation of an electromagnetic wave in a vortex torus.


1. VA Konovalenko. Fields and spaces. / / Virtual world.-2002.-N2. , P.5-15. - (Http://

2. BM Smirnov. Fireball - what is it? / / Priroda.-1987.-N2.-p.15-26.

3. Atmosphere. Reference (reference data model). -1991.-L. - Gidrometeoizdat.-509 page

4. VA Yamshanov. Nitroso compounds in the environment - a possible indicator of the ozone layer. / / DAN SSSR.-1990.-t.314.-N2. -P. 418-421.

5. VA Yamshanov. Photoinduced formation of N-nitrosamines from precursors in the aquatic environment. / / Proc. V All-Union Symposium "carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds and their precursors education and determination in the environment." -18-19 April 1984 G.-G. Tallin. 1984. -P. 7-8.

6. DI Mendeleev. Principles of Chemistry. T.1.1932. Gos. Chemical-Technical. Publishers, - M., L. - 488 pages

Editor's comment.

Fireballs have interested people for a very long time, probably because they were and still remain a mystery. Only in the last half century, writing about ball lightning, is PL Kapitsa. (1955), BM Smirnov (1977), IP Stakhanov (1979 and 1985), John Barry (1983), IP Chinarev, (1999), NK Socks (1999), JP Makhan'kov (2000), SG Fedosin and AS Kim (2000), KV Reza (2002). In these studies used and toroidal shape, and rather complicated electron-ion configuration of an electric double layer, and many other very attractive models. But it is always assumed that the energy of ball lightning is concentrated either in the electromagnetic field, or generated and maintained this field plasma. Naturally, in such models, the main stumbling block is the lifetime of ball lightning. To calculate the stability conditions of the plasmoid with varying degrees of success have used different, including, and quantum-mechanical approaches. In the commented work uses a fundamentally different approach: the electromagnetic field is a kind of information component fireball responsible for the formation of the gas ring. Energy component is exactly the same gas environment, energy received from the discharge line (and perhaps not only from it), preserving it for a long time and cost of this stock during the chemical interaction with the atmosphere. This approach allows us to move immediately from fast electromagnetic processes in the region is much slower chemical. In other words, in the view of the author commented by a fireball that does not clot high or low temperature plasma and gas ring formed toroidal electromagnetic field and, after its inception, it gave birth to the field of stabilizing own fields involved in the ring molecules. (Kinda a permanent magnet, which gave birth to the field and then ordering domains supported by these ordered domains). And since glow and other energy losses provided by other (chemical) mechanisms, while life is dependent on purely external conditions (concentration of ozone around the presence or absence of nitro compounds, and the like). Here I would like to express the wish of the author, replace in the figure, and not just in it longitudinally-electric (transverse magnetic or TM) wave on the longitudinal magnetic (transverse electric, TE) wave. We think that in such a configuration, the molecules of nitrogen oxide will be more comfortable.Finally, the last remark. Material articles that ball lightning can not only be yellow, red, and infrared but that is invisible. Are not such lightning cause rumors about poltergeists?

Edited for wiki-style and page-linking. Transliterated from Russian to English by Google Translate Retrieved by DonEMitchell (talk) 22:30, 19 January 2014 (MST) from