Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Magnetic Fields, Ball Lightning and Campanology


WOODING suggests1 that ball lightning is a plasma vortex ring structure produced by a process similar to the ablation of a solid surface by a high power laser pulse. A plasma vortex ring structure requires a magnetic field; here I present two pieces of evidence to show that a magnetic field is associated with ball lightning, and which may help to confirm this hypothesis.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. Wooding, E. R., Nature, 239, 394 (1972).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Mühleisen, R., Kosmos, 68.4, 159 (1972).

    Google Scholar 

  3. Nichols, J. R., Bells Thro' the Ages, 277 (Chapman and Hall, London, 1928).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

BLAIR, A. Magnetic Fields, Ball Lightning and Campanology. Nature 243, 512–513 (1973).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing