Mack Williams: Super-hot plasma and flame
Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 30, 2022
I was coming back from visiting my son, Jeremy the other night , and it was officially night, as the sun was about thirty minutes into its slipping below the horizon(or the horizon was about 30 minutes into its having risen up to meet the setting sun), making the western horizon a series of silhouettes of houses, trees, and a great, distant thunderstorm in the sky above them.
Above the twilight horizon, an immense, black, anvil-shaped cloud owned the sky! It stood out in stark contrast to the grayish-blue emptiness surrounding it; excepting a myriad of thin, dark streaks seeming to statically “wisp” down from both sides of the “anvil.” They almost gave the look of being made with a “scrape” of the artful knife of the late Bob Ross (student of the “even later” artist, Bill Alexander).
In those wispy streaks was a torrent of rain! But what I knew to be torrents of rain looked static, just as the millions of miles of distance make the roiling “Heavenly Hell” of the planet Jupiter’s swirling storms( including its Great Red Spot) look peaceful and pretty from way down here! And wherever you may be on this earth is “down here” in relation to the other planets, flying rocks, and ice balls of the Solar System!
But this sky scene wasn’t “Happy little this,” or “Happy little that,” as with Bob Ross. It was anything but peaceful, even though just 10 miles or so gave it the same look of “peaceful Jupiter.”
There were random, red-orange, “explosive” flashes of lightning within the great dark “anvil!”
That random “fire” enveloped in black clouds reminded me of the recent demonstration of WWII and Vietnam Era flamethrowers I had seen at the American Armoured Foundation Inc. Tank Museum in Danville, Virginia. I had met-up there with my son, Jeremy, daughter-in-law, Rose, and friend & fellow East Rowan (“Class of 1969”) classmate, Larry Williams.
But even though the black smoke-enveloped flamethrower fire might resemble lightning, there is a big difference: lightning, in many ways, is plasma (charged particles), and is even 4-5 times hotter than the sun’s plasma; so, the kindling-temperature heat of flamethrower fire pales in comparison to the heat of lightning and sun!
I stood in the front row-group observing the flamethrowers and feeling the heat! That morning, I had been experiencing a little bit of sciatic pain in my left leg; but after feeling that flamethrower heat from a hundred-or-so feet away, the pain was gone for the rest of the day! But the heat from a military flamethrower for sciatica relief might be viewed as “overkill,” the idea of which, friend and retired physician/medical school Professor, Larry Williams, of course concurred).
Thinking back on that evening, with the flickering, distant, thunderhead “anvil” in evening’s dusk, an idea joining creative fiction to that of scientific fact occurred to me:
Those thundering “plasma” flashes within that great horizon-seated dark cloud seemed to be “calling” to that great plasmic, solar ball which had seemingly “slipped” beneath the ground a half hour before. Not having brains with which to think, there was, of course no way for them to know that the earth cannot come to a stop, then turn back upon itself.