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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.

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Authors: KAISER R, Universität Bayreuth (DE);CORTZ D, Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik,Garching (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: Article: Physical Review E, Vol. 52 (1995), No. 3, pp. 3034-3044
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