Deep in the heart of the central U.S, a team of physicists have created something astounding. It is a thing imagined by fans of fantasy and science fiction alike, and now it is real: the self-sustaining ball of fire.
Well, it's more like a ring. And technically speaking it's made of plasma. Nonetheless, Professor Randy Curry and his team have created a device that spews forth flaming bursts of self-sustaining energy that burn with the white-hot intensity of the sun. It is something that anyone who has ever thrust forth their hand and yelled "lightning bolt" or "Hadouken" can look to in awe.
It's also something of a marvel in the world of physics. The creation of a self-sustaining ring of plasma is something akin to birthing a tiny sun. Even Professor Curry himself seems to bristle with excitement when describing what he's managed to create — before backing off on his claim a bit:
"This is the Holy Grail of plasmas. We've been able to generate a self-stabilized, self-confined plasma that will propagate in open atmospheric air without any magnetic fields... It's almost like ball lightning. Not quite like ball lightning, but maybe a fore-runner to ball lightning."
Professor Curry is also quick to note the plasma rings he has created in the lab burn hotter than the sun. Our star burns at around 6,000 degrees Kelvin. The plasmas created at Missouri University burn at anywhere between 6,600 and 7,700 degrees Kelvin. That's unbelievably hot. Yet, being that these rings of plasma are self-confined, the room in which they are produced is safe for their human creators. It's also worth noting that the rings of plasma created thus far have "only" stayed together for tens of milliseconds. That's long enough for them to travel about two feet, which is still revolutionary.
The team claims that their discovery will revolutionize energy generation and storage in the U.S. No doubt it will, but they're also being backed by the Office of Naval Research. And the Navy does tend to enjoy the concept of energy weapons. Consider also Curry's claim that he can make his device — already the size of a toaster — considerably smaller while being capable of generating even larger amounts of energy. We're not saying that the Navy has developed its first plasma rifle or anything, but the writing sure seems to be on the wall. Watch this video and judge for yourself.