DIY Ball Lightning
From: Peter Electric [SMTP:elekessy-at-macquarie.matra-dot-com.au]
Sent: Wednesday, April 08, 1998 7:09 AM
To: Tesla List
Subject: Re: DIY Ball Lightning
Tesla List wrote:
> From: Bill Lemieux [SMTP:gomez-at-netherworld-dot-com]
> Sent: Wednesday, April 01, 1998 12:30 PM
> To: Mark Bennett
> Cc: tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
> Subject: Re: DIY Ball Lightning
> I'll have to look into this. People have been producing things they
> "plasmoids" in microwave ovens using candles, but I don't have a large
> enough microwave with which to try this. Unfortunately, I gave away a
> 750W beat-up microwave oven that I had earmarked for experiments. I
> will be on the lookout for another one, however.
Sorry, this is a bit off subject but I agree with the carbon theory.I
have tried this experiment and it really works, but forget the candles!
I tried it in a large microwave I salvaged from the tip. The candles
flared a bit but did nothing spectacular. I then placed some burnt
matches (just the charcoal bits) on a pyrex dish and turned on the oven.
After several seconds they start glowing, then suddenly flare up and
release ball like "flames" that float around the inside of the microwave
for up to ten seconds or so. They range in colour from orange to bright
yellow with purplish tinges. The microwave also buzzes loudly and sounds
as if there is almost a dead short on the output of the magnetron.
Try it sometime, but don't use your mothers pride and joy as it leaves
soot stains all over the place.
Cheers, Peter E.
> Something I want to try is to use my new "banger" or "pulser" to bang
> hell out of a high-Q tank circuit, and also possible the bottom of a
> "magnifier" coil.
> I'm also interested in the following free-air plasma-compression
> _|_ _____|_____ <-- needle point array 1
> | | | | | | | |
> | | o o
> | | o o <-- low-Z solenoid, energized by
> | | o o
> | | | | | | | |
> | | ----------- <-- needle point array 2
> |___| |
> --- <-- ground
> I use the term "plasma" loosely, since I'm not sure if a
> really qualifies as a plasma. I think the mean temperature has to be
> higher. (the CRC handbook states, "temperature of the collection of
> these particles is sufficiently high for the ionization to be above
> The purpose of this experiment is to answer the question:
> "What happens when a glow discharge, covering a relatively large
> of highly ionized air at 1 atm. is suddenly confined to a much smaller
> The answer may well be, "nothing interesting". But we won't know that
> until we try it, will we? :-)
> If nothing else, it would be a fun experiment. The difficulty would
> insulate the banger coil (and thus, the banger components) from the
> coil voltages, but if the needle point arrays had corona rings, and
> solenoid coils were carefully insulated, and had "strike rails" above
> below them, it should be possible to do this without frying my banger
> parts. The needle arrays themselves should ensure that the voltage
> get high enough to generate long arcs. I hope.
> NOTE to Tesla coil list: if anyone has done or knows of a similar
> experiment and any documented results, please email me personally!
> . personal email: gomez-at-netherworld-dot-com
> . personal web page: http://www-dot-netherworld-dot-com/~gomez