In theoretical physics, a kugelblitz (German: "ball lightning") is a concentration of heat, light or radiation so intense that its energy forms an event horizon and becomes self-trapped: according to general relativity and the equivalence of mass and energy, if enough radiation is aimed into a region, the concentration of energy can warp spacetime enough for the region to become a black hole (although this would be a black hole whose original mass-energy had been in the form of radiant energy rather than matter). In simpler terms, a kugelblitz is a black hole formed from radiation as opposed to matter. According to Einstein's general theory of relativity, once an event horizon has formed, the type of energy that created it no longer makes a difference. A kugelblitz would be so hot it would surpass the Planck temperature, the temperature of the universe ×10−44 seconds (one 5.4Planck time) after The Big Bang.
The best-known reference to the kugelblitz idea in English is probably John Archibald Wheeler's 1955 paper "Geons", which explored the idea of creating particles (or toy models of particles) from spacetime curvature. Wheeler's paper on geons also introduced the idea that lines of electric charge trapped in a wormhole throat might be used to model the properties of a charged particle-pair.
- Senovilla, J.M.M. (2014). "Black hole formation by incoming electromagnetic radiation". Classical and Quantum Gravity. 32 (1): 017001. arXiv:1408.2778. Bibcode:2015CQGra..32a7001S. doi:10.1088/0264-9381/32/1/017001.
- Wheeler, J. A. (1955). "Geons". Physical Review. 97 (2): 511–536. Bibcode:1955PhRv...97..511W. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.97.511.
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- Lee, J.S. (2013). "The effect of Hawking Radiation on Fermion re-inflation of a Schwarzschild Kugelblitz". Journal of the British Interplanetary Society. 66: 364–376.
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