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On the possibility of making a natural ball lightning using a new pulse discharge type in the laboratory


B.P. Konstantinov St. Petersburg Institute of Nuclear Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Gatchina, Leningrad Region, Rusian Federation

A new type of electric discharge was discovered in Gatchina which produces long-lived glowing formations with the same unique physical properties as natural ball lightnings. This paper reviews the research work on the Gatchina discharge that has been done by a number of independent groups and which have provided important insights into the nature of both the discharge and ball lightning formation processes. However, the glowing formations that appeared in the experiments by those groups have a shorter lifetime than the objects created by the authors of the proposed method and fail to exhibit some of the specific properties of the ball lightning. In this paper, the parameters and operation regimes of a facility for creating such formations are discussed whose optimization will eliminate these drawbacks. The review discusses the properties of both the discharge and the glowing objects, formed in it, which were observed by the present authors and which other groups failed to reproduce. A model of a natural ball lightning is proposed in the framework of which the peculiar properties of the Gatchina discharge and of the long-lived glowing formations observed in it are explained. The experimental facility developed has a number of features that allow the near-100%-effective production of long-lived glowing formations, thus enabling their physical characteristics to be in principle studied on a systematic basis.

Text can be downloaded in Russian. English translation is available here.
Keywords: Gatchina discharge, long-lived glowing formations, plasma sheet, macroscopic charge separation, barrier discharge, creeping discharge, ball lightning
PACS: 52.80.Mg, 92.60.Pw (all)
DOI: 10.3367/UFNe.2018.03.038318
URL: https://ufn.ru/en/articles/2019/1/h/
Citation: Shabanov G D "On the possibility of making a natural ball lightning using a new pulse discharge type in the laboratory" Phys. Usp. 62 92–107 (2019)
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Received: 12th, September 2017, revised: 20th, March 2018, 28th, March 2018

Оригинал: Шабанов Г Д «О возможности создания природной шаровой молнии импульсным разрядом нового вида в лабораторных условиях» УФН 189 95–111 (2019); DOI: 10.3367/UFNr.2018.03.038318

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