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Golka video: Ball Lightning in lab. WHAT?!!!!!

Original poster: William Beaty <billb@xxxxxxxxxx>

On that hot-streamer.com/mike2004 archive, Mike V's mpeg of Ball Lightning
interviews is 180 Megs and takes ~hour to download (at 30Kb per sec!)  I
clipped one interesting segment out.  Take a look at:

  1cm glowing spheres:  Golka shorts a battery bank  (30 Meg video file)

Yes! It contains one of my hot-button topics: WELDING SPATTER ACTS WEIRD.

If you've ever watched arc-welders, you'll note that the metal spatters
appear to be glowing spheres perhaps 1cm in diameter, but then they shrink
enormously as they cool, turning into tiny balls of metal.  I've been
wondering about this since I was eight years old watching welders at a
commercial garage.  I've seen the problem mentioned in books, and they
explain it as a visual illusion, a "radiating" retina effect where
intensely bright objects tend to look larger than reality, because the
bright light on your retina travels sideways through the retina.
Therefore a pinhead-sized metal fragment would seem to be the size of a
grape, since the fragment was incandescently bright.  Yet I was always
confused about this, since the welding spatters *don't* look that bright,
yet they still appear to be fairly large spheres.  And they seem to have a
distinct surface.  And they clearly appear to shrink as they cool.

Finally here's the same phenomenon captured on video.  It doesn't look
like an illusion now.  I bet the "illusion explanation" is wrong.

But Golka claims that there's a salt-grain-sized metal fragment in the
center of those 5mm glowing spheres rolling across the water.

Really?  They have a solid core?  I'm suspicious!  What if Golka bases his
claim NOT on evidence (such as shadowgraphs of dark cores in the center of
those spheres.)  What if instead he ASSUMES that the metal grains were in
the spheres.  Maybe they're not.

What if the glowing sphere *is* the metal fragment?  What if our eyes
aren't fooling us, and the glowing balls really do shrink down and turn
into solid metal grains?  What if those glowing balls are something
terribly weird; matter in a quantum state half way between plasma and
metal: metal with its electron-sea pumped to stunningly high energy, not a
metal at all but an extremely dense plasma of electrons bound to positive
copper ions?

If those balls are as Golka says: metal vapor surrounding a tiny liquid
metal droplet ..why would metal vapor take a spherical shape with a
distinct surface, why wouldn't it just drift away like any flame would?
The explanation doesn't make sense, and I suspect that it's wrong, just as
the "retinal illusion" explanation was wrong.

I suspect that we're looking at something unexplained.

If I'm right, then people have been staring right at Ball Lightning for
decades, while at the same time fooling ourselves with wrong explanations
which "prove" that welding-spatter is something mundane.

(((((((((((((((((( ( ( ( ( (O) ) ) ) ) ))))))))))))))))))) William J. Beaty SCIENCE HOBBYIST website billb at amasci com http://amasci.com EE/programmer/sci-exhibits amateur science, hobby projects, sci fair Seattle, WA 206-789-0775 unusual phenomena, tesla coils, weird sci