Ball lightning as an example of a magnetohydrodynamic equilibrium
Magnetohydrodynamic equilibria appropriate for describing ball lightning are discussed in this paper. It is argued that lightning-induced fireballs should have a magnetic field decaying at infinity. Such equilibria, in fact, have a vanishing magnetic field outside a singly connected plasma region and are confined by the atmospheric pressure only. An equilibrium of this type with a spherical plasma boundary is investigated, and characteristic quantities are computed. Perturbation of the pressure and current profiles leads to deformation of the spherical plasma boundary, thus indicating the existence of a large class of equilibria with a nonspherical boundary. Finally, some remarks are made concerning the stability of these equilibria.
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Physical Review E, Vol. 52 (1995), No. 3, pp. 3034-3044
Record Number: 199512169 / Last updated on: 1996-01-26
Original language: en
Available languages: en