- Ball lightings are known to be real are not understood. Ball lightning-like phenomena can be created also artificially in microwave ovens using match. Matches contain organic material and this serves as a good hint.
- There is a New Scientist article, which gives a popular representation of ball lightings (see this). The theory of Cameron (see this) is mentioned in the article. The theory assumes that lightnings are essentially phenomena associated with the electromagnetic radiation field alone and neglects the fact that plasma is very probably involved. The theory relies on exact solutions of Maxwell's equations and proposes that ball lightnings involve monochromatic electromagnetic fields which are knotted and linked making the field configurations topologically nontrivial. Both magnetic and electric field lines can be knotted. This does not however imply topological stability since the linearity of Maxwell's equations implies that these field configurations are unstable. The finding that lifetime is long enough for microwave lengths does not conform with the fact that visible light is involved. Another theory mentioned in the article is by Boerner and proposes that lightning comes from another dimension. What this could actually mean, is of course a highly non-trivial question.
- The basic mystery is how ball lightning can survive for so long a time. An ordinary plasma ball is not expected to do so. This suggests that ball lightning obeys non-linear dynamics and is some kind of topological entity robust by their topological non-triviality.
- A very natural expectation is that ball lightning is a self-organizing system consisting of plasma which radiates. Self-organization requires energy feed. It could come as a Coulombic energy from the electric field of Earth through which part of the plasma of ball lightning has arrived. Here one encounters a problem. The electric resistance of the atmosphere causes a dissipation of the energy so that the charged particles cannot accelerate to high energies. How could lightning avoid this?
- Two problems are always better than one. The second puzzle is that ordinary lightnings involve relativistic electrons and gamma rays. This is impossible in standard physics due to the already mentioned electric resistance of the atmosphere. Could ball lightning involve a new phase of matter, for which the dissipation is very small. Perhaps because it interacts very weakly with the ordinary matter of the atmosphere?
- The third mystery is that the surface of Earth carries a negative charge, which creates an electric field. This field is essential for the generation of lightning. The origin of this field is however not understood.
- There is also a fourth problem. Dark matter exists but there is no generally accepted theory of dark matter. All experiments trying to detect proposed candidates for dark matter particles (the particle physicist's way to solve a problem is to propose a new particle) have failed. There is of course also the mystery of life but it is better to stop here.
See the article Mysteries associated with lightnings, ball lightnings and the electrosphere of Earth or the chapter About Concrete Realization of Remote Metabolism.
For a summary of earlier postings see Latest progress in TGD.