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Possible Precursors of Ball Lightning - Observation of Closed Loops in High-Voltage Discharges

Igor Alexeff, Mark Rader

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 27 / Number 3 / May 1995 / Pages 271-273


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Several hundred photographs of ultrahigh voltage discharges have been obtained that show closed current loops. These closed current loops may be precursors of ball lightning. One feature of these discharges may explain why observations of ball lightning may be infrequent; that is, there is a distinct threshold in voltage and/or current below which the closed loops do not occur. This threshold current fits other experimental data but is well above the usually observed currents in natural lightning.

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