July 26-30, 2001

University of Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri


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     This symposium, dedicated to the scientific investigation of the phenomenon of ball lightning, is the seventh in a series initiated by Y.-H. Ohtsuki in 1988 in Tokyo (Japan), continued in 1990 in Budapest (Hungary), 1993 in Los Angeles (CA), 1995 in Canterbury (UK), 1997 in Tsugawa (Japan) and 1999 in  Antwerp, Belgium.
     Ball Lightning (BL) is the most fascinating and enigmatic atmospheric electricity phenomenon.  Although known and described since the antiquity, it is certainly the least understood, and perhaps the most misunderstood, of all atmospheric phenomena.  It has thoroughly frustrated the efforts of scientists to study it and to understand its nature.  Although about 5% of people have seen ball lightning, few atmospheric electricity scientists have seen it.  Although most of them spent countless hours observing lightning flashes, photographing them, measuring their currents and fields, less than 5% of them ever saw BL, and then usually not while doing streak lightning studies in the vicinity of a high point.  Indeed, to be more effective, lightning studies are done usually in the vicinity of a high point.
    Today we begin to understand why the specialists were unable to see BL in spite of its usual association with streak lightning.  We also begin to understand and explain all the other properties of BL.  With theoretical work based on the many observations of BL, on quantum mechanics, electrodynamics and plasma physics, we see the light at the end of the tunnel.
    The present Symposium attempts to pursue this unique opportunity offered by modern physics, to approach the end of this tunnel of obscurantism.  ISBL 2001 is an attempt to bring together all parties interested in the scientific investigation and future practical applications of the BL phenomenon.  This will include participants, contributors and invited speakers from universities, industry, private and governmental laboratories, private and governmental funding agencies, as well as individual observers and analysts.  ISBL 2001 will be held at an uncompromising high scientific level.  It continues the tradition of the previous symposia with an effort to further increase the scientific level of the invited and contributed papers, without discouraging any sound observational, experimental or theoretical papers, or the attendance of scientifically interested participants.
    The Symposium will be held on the University of Missouri-St. Louis Campus with registration on July 25 from 3-9pm.  Housing and meals will be available on Campus at economical rates.



BL observations
Analysis of BL observations
Laboratory and free air experiments connected to BL
Scientific models and theories of BL


     Abstracts of approximately 200 words are solicited.  The abstract should contain sufficient information on the proposed presentation to allow an evaluation and selection by a reviewer.  Each presentation should require no more than 20 minutes, but additional time can be provided in special cases.
    Please submit an abstract to:
                                         Dr. Peter H. Handel
                                                 Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
                                                 University of Missouri
                                                 St. Louis, MO 63121;
                                                 Tel.: 314-516-5021
                                                 Fax: 314-516-6152
Please include your e-mail address, if available.


    The deadline for the Submission of abstracts is March 5, 2001.  The abstracts will be reviewed to assure a reasonable standard of relevance, scientific soundness and technical execution.  Notification of abstract acceptance will be sent out around March 15, 2001.  Accepted abstracts will be available at the Symposium.  Post-deadline abstracts may be accepted in certain special cases.  The early deadlines allow for convenient booking of reasonably priced airline tickets.
    Participants with accepted papers are asked to bring their camera-ready manuscripts to the Symposium for inclusion in the planned Proceedings.  This inclusion will be based on a final review.
    Registration for the Symposium should be done most conveniently by April 15, 2001.  Details about registration fee, proceedings and local accommodations will be forthcoming in the following announcements.  Please check also our upcoming web page, which is currently under construction.  The address will be announced in the next mailings.

Dr. Stanley Singer
Internatl. Committee on Ball Lightning
381 South Meredith Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91106
Prof. Peter H. Handel (Conf. Chair)
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
University of Missouri-St. Louis
St. Louis, MO 63121
Dr. Geert C. Dijkhuis
ZSC and Convectron N.V.
Kortenaerlaan 7
Terneuzen, The Netherlands
Alma L. Chung (Associate Conf. Chair)
Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
University of Missouri- St. Louis
St. Louis, MO 63121
Prof. Y.-H. Ohtsuki
Department of Physics
Waseda University


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