African Journal of Geography and Regional Planning

African Journal of Geography and Regional Planning ISSN 2736-1586 Vol. 10 (2), pp. 001-013, February, 2023. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

New Model Details Internal Electromagnetic Mechanism That Allows Ball Lightning to Self-Stabilize

Tim G. Waterman and Urs W. Batzel*

Affiliations—Timothy G. Waterman consults through TIPSLLC. His current address and email are 303 Quail Dr., Eldersburg MD 21784, USA and Urs Batzel is unaffiliated and the Corresponding author. His current address and email are 430 Stratton Ln, Pittsburgh PA 15206, USA and

Accepted 13 January, 2023


The strange natural phenomena, ball lightning, is rich in mythology, but remains a mystery after centuries of scientific effort. Detailed eyewitness accounts describe luminous bubbles with diameters of a few centimeters to several meters that have been observed alongside lightning, typically moving horizontally, sometimes passing through windows and aircraft walls, and dissipating sometimes silently or violently after a lifetime of a few seconds. Using an electromagnetic model for ball lightning, this paper provides an analysis of the internally generated forces that can hold the ball lightning sphere together, specifically how three orthogonal electromagnetic waves propagating inside of a conducting “bubble” of free-floating charge are capable of providing the forces necessary to counteract the expanding forces generated by the bubble of charge itself. The spherical boundary conditions will be described including how they determine the allowable field shapes of the trapped propagating waves and that the forces acting on the sphere’s boundary are uniform.

Keywords: Ball-Lightning, Cavity Mode, Orthogonal Electric Fields, Trapped Propagating Wave, Whispering Gallery Mode.