Recent developments

Interaction with other disciplines

International Symposium on Ball Lightning

In 1988, shortly after the KEMA test series, a Japanese initiative invited Dr Dijkhuis to Tokyo for the first International Symposium on Ball Lightning (ISBL).

In two decades, its bi-annual repeats convened on three continents, combining data banks, sifting models and weighing laboratory reproduction efforts.

In 2012, Russia hosted the twelveth symposium, integrated in atmospheric science and combustion chemistry meetings.

Attention for ball lightning at other symposia

Independently, the International Union of Radio Science (URSI) and the International Committee on Heat and Mass Transfer (ICHMT) also included sessions on ball lightning in their symposia. Their proceedings document steady progress of fireball modelling from underlying concepts, which the boson model shares with electric phenomena in the stratosphere.

While the test facilities of the Predecessor were mothballed at the end of 1987, the model development and calculations prospered by rapid growth in PC-level computing power and software capabilities.

Development of the model

Since the 1980’s TV programs in The Netherlands and worldwide have paid attention to the Convectron model for fireballs.

Thunderclouds observed by satellites and triggered lightning at sea level surely produce gamma radiation. Robust scale rules cover formation of stable fusion plasma from thundercloud conditions.

Integration with other disciplines

After twelve international ball lightning symposia, integration with geophysics, plasma chemistry, fluid dynamics and electrodynamics is at full speed. The mathematical framework unites natural ball lightning with laboratory analogues.

Recent results connect the Convectron model mathematically with ongoing design and tests of photonic materials inside waveguides for microwaves.

New ignition and microwave photonics

The model thus also specifies fireball generation by microwave photonics. This new approach creates fireballs by a non-erosive ignition process with internal plasma circulation tuned to the Convectron reaction chamber.

Development of the mathematical framework

In particular, the mathematical framework of the Convectron model now also enables useful suggestions to related disciplines including cloaking techniques (making structures invisible to radar systems) and Cherenkov radiation (for diagnostic tests of new photonic materials).