(ORDO NEWS) — Ball lightning is so strange that it can come from a completely different dimension, the physicist suggested.
Until recently, many physicists even doubted that such events could occur at all. Ball lightning may have been first documented by the ancient Greeks, who reported seeing small balls of bright plasma-like light hovering above the ground before disappearing.
Although scientific explanations remain unavailable, many hypotheses have been proposed.
And now a new innovative idea for ball lightning has been proposed, involving the addition of a fifth dimension.
Dr. Andrea Aiello, theoretical physicist at the Max Planck Institute: “My personal idea – the simplest geometric description I can think of – is to add an extra dimension.”
“The theory of a physical phenomenon is much more than just a description, it also seeks to explain how and why this phenomenon happened. But we have practically no quantitative observations of this phenomenon, so we cannot make it a theory.”
And she also stresses that the extra dimension has nothing to do with the realm of science fiction.
Dr. Aiello: “There are physical theories like string theory that predict an 11-dimensional world, and we only have access to four dimensions.
“In the 1930s and later, physicists [Theodore] Kaluza and [Abraham] Klein tried to develop together a theory of electromagnetism and gravity, and they found the ingredient to develop this theory with an extra fifth dimension.
“So my simple explanation is geometrically very simple: let’s take an ordinary lightning in our three-dimensional world.”
“From a geometric point of view, lightning is a cylinder that connects the sky to the earth. If you cut a cylinder, its cross section is just a circle. Now imagine that instead of such a “regular” lightning – a cylinder in five dimensions.”
“If for some reason this 5D lightning crosses our 3D brain, what is the cross section of the 4D cylinder? Generalization of a circle in two dimensions plus one in three dimensions is a sphere.”
“One could simply observe a sphere of light.”
“It’s just light. That’s why I found this explanation very attractive and very simple.”
The problem is not in the theoretical side, it is in the side of observations – that is, until we have some quantitative measurements of ball lightning, all theories can be equally acceptable.
“At this stage, all theories are equally valid and equally possible.”
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