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Re: Ball Lightning Experiment - Don't try this at home

Original poster: William Beaty <billb@xxxxxxxxxx>

On Sat, 29 Jul 2006, Tesla list wrote:

> In fact I think the experimenters should not have conducted this in
> the lab in that manner either.  They were using 5kJ without ear or
> eye protection and apparently standing within a foot or two of the
> discharge.

I suspect that the "space shuttle" psychology syndrome is operating.
That's where you don't bother to use critical thinking or even common
sense, but instead you say to yourself "nothing bad happened for several
shots.  That means nothing bad CAN happen."   Tell yourself that, then go
play Russian Roulette!

Perhaps the arc resistance in the water is high enough that the peak power
is low and the sound isn't very loud.  But what if electrodes move a bit?
Underwater discharges are nonlinear, and depending on the setup, sometimes
a small change in electrode spacing can switch you from "half-second water
heating" mode and into "microsecond hyper-velocity fragment-lanuching"
mode.  Perhaps they aren't aware of the danger (aren't aware of what 5KJ
discharge can really do.)

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William J. Beaty                            SCIENCE HOBBYIST website
billb at amasci com                         http://amasci.com
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