DIY Ball Lightning

From:  ntesla-at-ntesla.csd.sc.edu [SMTP:ntesla-at-ntesla.csd.sc.edu]
Sent:  Friday, April 03, 1998 4:30 AM
To:  tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
Subject:  DIY Ball Lightning

>From:  Malcolm Watts [SMTP:MALCOLM-at-directorate.wnp.ac.nz]
>Sent:  Thursday, April 02, 1998 4:00 PM
>To:  tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
>Subject:  Re: DIY Ball Lightning
>Hi all,
>         Below is a snip from a message sent to me by Ken Corum as 
>part of a 1 - 1 conversation we had some months ago. The coil he 
>refers is running at something above 5kVA (continuous transformer 
>rating). I never did get the exact figure but it is more likely to be 
>10kVA based on list member's results. It was claimed to be capable of 
>producing 15' streamers. A carnonaceous discharge point on the 
>terminal is a vital ingredient. Refer to the ITS Symposium Notes circa 
>1990 for more references.
>         ------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
>The power nescesary to produce fireballs is not very high. We have seen 
>fireballs from small table top machines operating around 200-300 watts. The 
>power levels will determine the size and lifetimes of the fireballs. At 200 
>watts or so, the fireballs will be points of bright light out towards the
>of the streamers. Running the coil mentioned in the previous emails, will 
>produce fireballs 1 to 2 cm in size. The key is "lots of ozone and lots of 
>carbon" and the long thin wispy sparks. The thick bright discharges do not 
>produce fireballs. So, backing off on the power sometimes produces better 
>Hope this answers your questions.
>Ken Corum

That's interesting. So from where did Tesla's carbon originate? Carbon from
wooden forms? That seems likely as I seem to recall Tesla writing that the
"fireballs" would destroy the coil. I have a few boxes of arc-lamp
copper-clad carbons....I think I'll give this a try soon. :)