Plasmoid ( Ball Lightning ) generation with Microwaves
Tests and analysis
by Jean-Louis Naudin
Cliquez ici pour la version Française
created on February 1st, 2004 -
JLN Labs - Last update September 27, 2006
Toutes les informations et schémas sont publiés gratuitement ( freeware ) et sont destinés à un usage personnel et non commercial

All informations and diagrams are published freely (freeware) and are intended for a private use and a non commercial use.

The principle of the ball ligthning creation is a complexe phenomenon and not yet really explained in physics. A lot of models try to explain this phenomenon : when a lightning strikes the ground or a tree, some small particles are vaporized. These particles are rich in carbon ( coming from the tree and/or the ground ). A lightning is a very short electromagnetic pulse generated by a very strong current ( million of amperes ) and its energy is enormous. Microwaves are produced and immediately absorbed by this cloud of thin conductive particles ( made with dusts of carbon ), a plasmoid is created and this produces a ball lightning. This fireball is self-confined by 'Spherical Pinch Effect' and completly autonomous.

The experiment shown in my web site is the replication at a small scale of this natural phenomenon. The cloud of carbon particles is produced with a pencil graphite lead. The electromagnetic energy of the microwaves generated by a magnetron is absorbed by the cloud of carbon particles and a "plasmoid" is produced...

Good experiments
Jean-Louis Naudin

This experiment uses a kind of electronic trigger which is the GMR v1.0 ( Graphite Microwave Resonator ) placed in a microwave oven working at 2.45 GHz. A magnetron is compact, has a light weight ( compared to a HV transformer with the same output power ) and it is a high power device. It is able to produce a great amount of power in a small volume most particularly in a plasmoid. A successful experiment has already been conducted on February 27th, 2002 with a quarter wave antenna made with aluminium. The previous design has been improved and the aluminum antenna has now been replaced by a graphite antenna, this new resonator is now called the GMR ( Graphite Microwave Resonator ). The cloud of carbon emitted by the antenna absorbs the major part the microwave energy. So the GMR is able to produce a very high density plasma in a small volume.

The GMR v 1.0 is a microwave resonator composed with a small quater wave antenna mounted on an artificial ground surface. The frequency of the magnetron is 2.45 GHz, its wave length is l = 12.2 cm, this gives the height of the 1/4 wave microwave antenna : l/4 = 3 cm and the ground base diameter : l/2 = 6 cm.

You will notice, if you conduct yourself this experiment, that the plasmoid remains very stable as long as the microwave oven is running.

Full detailled picture of the 2.45 GHz magnetron. The antenna is the small cylinder on the right side.

The HV power supply diagram for the magnetron

Design of the Graphite Microwave Resonator ( GMR ), for more details about the GMR construction,
click here.

The GMR apparatus is placed on the plate of the microwave oven. The rotation of the plate must be disabled.
The GMR antenna must be a bit inclined, this contributes to start the self-rotation of the plasmoïd.

Warning : Don't forget that the Plasmoid generates ozone (O3) and nitrogen oxydes ( NO and NO2), so you need to do this experiment in an open and well ventiled area. If you do it the risk of any results is just yours. I take no responsibility of anything that might happen.

On the pictures above : the ignition sequence of the plasmoid.

When the plasmoid is produced in a spherical vessel, it is self-confined ( like a ball lightning ) by spherical pinch effect
and thus the hot plasma is not in contact with the glass vessel.

If the plasmoid is produced on a flat surface, the plasma is in contact with the glass vessel which becomes hot quickly.

The ball ligthning effect is able to run as long as the microwaves are active...

Audio spectrum analysis of the sound produced with the microwave oven ( with a cup of water and with the GMR in action )

See the videos of the Plasmoid tests

To see the video, the free downloadable RealPlayer is required
You may download free the RealPlayer 8 Basic at :

Click on the picture above to see the video ( 1282 Kb )

Click on the picture above to see the video ( 975 Kb )

Comments about the experiment : This plasmoid ( ball lightning ) experiment is perfectly reproducible with a common microwaves oven but it is important to follow some important points :

This experiment reproduces perfectly the ball lightning phenomenon. This allows us to understand better its complex mecanism and also to explore its physical principles...

Links and references :

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