DIY Ball Lightning

From:  Keith Nagel [SMTP:knagel-at-cnct-dot-com]
Sent:  Saturday, April 04, 1998 9:02 AM
To:  Tesla List
Subject:  Re: DIY Ball Lightning


I strongly recommend you try this, regardless of the power
rating of your oven. My unit is quite small, yet shows the
effect without difficulty. The key elements are carbon and
a flame source.

The first observation is that a simple flame in the microwave
burns more brightly at a "hot spot" in the beam path. To get
the plasma effect, use a fat candle and stick thin dowels
in the top so that they lay over the candle flame. You might
want to pre-burn the dowels so as to avoid the large conflagration
when you first light it. The point being, to have the flame
heat the carbon. Then, position it in the microwave so as to
be at a peak point in the standing wave. 

The results are, in a word, quite startling. Large, loose 
plasma balls will form and waft about the oven. The 
xformer will humm, likely it's being driven into saturation
by the effective short of the plasma. My unit seems none
the worse for wear after repeated indulgence; your mileage
may vary...

The connection to Tesla coils is obvious. Tesla undoubtedly
observed this effect after repeated arcing near the coil
form caused enough heated carbon to form to trigger the
effect. My advice would be to get a feel for this with
the microwave, then attack the coil. 

>From:  Bill Lemieux [SMTP:gomez-at-netherworld-dot-com]

>> I'm not convinced the plasmoid  phenomenon is anything more than a
>> carbon arc, occurring when 2 pieces of carbon form a dipole.
>I'm not convinced of anything at all about it, but I want to at least
>see it for myself.  The reports I'd see on Bill Beaty's site were
>using a single candle, either lit or recently snuffed, in a high-power
>microwave (750W+).