Agriculture
Silk’s superpowers
Springing forward
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Amphibians
Frogs and Toads
Bullfrogs
Toads
Animals
Tool Use Comes Naturally to Crows
Insects Take a Breather
Clone Wars
Behavior
Math is a real brain bender
Island of Hope
Lost Sight, Found Sound
Birds
Woodpecker
Blue Jays
Peafowl
Chemistry and Materials
Silk’s superpowers
Smelly Traps for Lampreys
Sticky Silky Feet
Computers
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Games with a Purpose
Play for Science
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Meet your mysterious relative
A Rainforest Trapped in Amber
Digging Dinos
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Challenging the Forces of Nature
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Farms sprout in cities
Environment
Whale Watch
Fungus Hunt
Plant Gas
Finding the Past
Settling the Americas
The Puzzle of Ancient Mariners
Untangling Human Origins
Fish
Flounder
Saltwater Fish
Marlin
Food and Nutrition
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
Healing Honey
Food for Life
GSAT English Rules
Subject and Verb Agreement
Problems with Prepositions
Who vs. That vs. Which
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Exam Preparation
March 21-22, 2013: Over 43,000 students will take the GSAT Exam
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
GSAT Mathematics
Prime Time for Cicadas
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Math is a real brain bender
Human Body
Opening a Channel for Tasting Salt
A Long Trek to Asia
Germ Zapper
Invertebrates
Bedbugs
Leeches
Shrimps
Mammals
Bonobos
Primates
Chipmunks
Parents
How children learn
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Physics
Thinner Air, Less Splatter
Speedy stars
Project Music
Plants
Assembling the Tree of Life
Springing forward
Flower family knows its roots
Reptiles
Iguanas
Box Turtles
Gila Monsters
Space and Astronomy
Wrong-way planets do gymnastics
Older Stars, New Age for the Universe
No Fat Stars
Technology and Engineering
Algae Motors
A Light Delay
Supersuits for Superheroes
The Parts of Speech
Countable and Uncountable Nouns
What is a Preposition?
Adjectives and Adverbs
Transportation
Troubles with Hubble
Revving Up Green Machines
Robots on the Road, Again
Weather
Earth's Poles in Peril
Warmest Year on Record
Catching Some Rays
Add your Article

Powering Ball Lightning

Ball lightning is one of the strangest objects you might never see. The rare, basketball-sized fireballs occasionally form in nature after lightning strikes soil. They can float or bounce and last for several minutes before disappearing. In recent years, scientists have learned something about the science behind ball lightning. But questions remain. A new study helps illuminate the picture. Researchers at Tel Aviv University in Israel began the study after making ball lightning by mistake in their lab. Vladimir Dikhtyar and Eli Jerby had just invented a new type of drill that was made partly from pieces of microwave ovens. The tip of the drill concentrates microwave radiation into a spot that measures just 2 millimeters wide. Such concentrated radiation allows the drill to pierce many materials. About 10 years ago, Dikhtyar and Jerby were testing their new device when a glowing blob suddenly blew out of the material they were drilling. The blob eventually reentered the drill, causing a lot of damage. Hoping to find out what had ruined their fancy tool, the engineers experimented until they could reliably make fireballs on purpose. The trick, they found, was to drill into glass. They found a way to cage the glowing blobs for up to several minutes. To make the trap, they used a tissue-box-sized container with glass walls. They kept the glowing orbs alive by zapping them with extra microwaves. The lab-made blobs were different from ball lightning that occurs in nature. For one thing, the artificial balls were much smaller—just a few centimeters across, instead of basketball-sized or bigger. They formed in a different way too. And if left alone, the manmade blobs vanished within 30 milliseconds. (There are 1,000 milliseconds in 1 second). Still, the scientists thought their blobs were realistic enough to help test one of the leading theories about what causes ball lightning in nature. In 2000, researchers from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, proposed that ball lightning forms when lightning strikes soil. Under the right conditions, the strike creates a charged gas that glows and contains dust that is full of microscopic particles. Chemical reactions within the dust then create energy that keeps the gas glowing, the scientists suspected. Using an intense X-ray beam, Dikhtyar and Jerby found evidence to support that theory. Their tests showed tiny particles within the artificial blobs. These particles were similar in size to the particles that may exist in natural ball lightning.—Emily Sohn

Powering Ball Lightning
Powering Ball Lightning








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™