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Ball lightning in lab reported // movie clip also

Original poster: Davetracer@xxxxxxx // I don't know how many of you read Slashdot. I found this particular blurb rather difficult to get to. I ordinarily would just post a link to it, but I am ... very uncertain it would work based off prior experience with Slashdot, and I feel this forum would be interested. Anyway, I believe that four lines is close enough to "Fair Use" to be okay; the rest is from the article itself. I have included the links as text in brackets so if they don't work directly, you can just cut and paste them into your browser.//

EWAdams writes to point us to a New Scientist report that the mysterious phenomenon of <http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg19325863.500&feedId=online-news_rss20>ball lighting has now been created [http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=mg19325863.500&feedId=online-news_rss20 ] in a Brazilian research lab. The phenomenon has long been reported anecdotally but never explained or understood. Scientists have devised numerous possible explanations, including mini black holes left over from the Big Bang, but have had little success in producing working examples.

From the article: "A more down-to-earth theory... is that ball lightning forms when lightning strikes soil, turning any silica in the soil into pure silicon vapor. As the vapor cools, the silicon condenses into a floating aerosol bound into a ball by charges that gather on its surface, and it glows with the heat of silicon recombining with oxygen. To test this idea, a [Brazilian] team... took wafers of silicon just 350 micrometers thick, placed them between two electrodes and zapped them with currents of up to 140 amps. Then... they moved the electrodes slightly apart, creating an electrical arc that vaporised the silicon. The arc spat out glowing fragments of silicon but also, sometimes, luminous orbs the size of ping-pong balls that persisted for up to 8 seconds." Here is a <http://www.espacociencia.pe.gov.br/multimidia.php>movie of the phenomenon. [http://www.espacociencia.pe.gov.br/multimidia/multimidia_video.php%20 ] Note: that really IS a trailing space character in there; I don't know why it's there.

 -- thanks, Dave