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Static electricity is an electric charge which builds on the surface of matter, and cannot disperse unless it flows into the ground or is discharged. The most identifiable example of static electricity in nature is lightning. By attempting to capture static electricity in an insulated block of such materials as acrylic or glass or any non-conducting plate , Lichtenberg could examine the radials of electrical discharge.

Fermilab Physicist Makes "Frozen Lightning" Art with Accelerators

These radials branch out, shaping into tree or fern-like patterns, which form due to spark discharges at the boundary of the plate and the gas. The length of the radials vary based on exposure to air and density of materials used. The indentations can then be sprinkled with dust, lead or sulphur, which yield a highly amped color, seen through the clear plate. Lichtenberg figures are very similar to electrical treeing — a process which resembles the former, but is not the result of a carefully contrived experiment.

  1. Electric Ice.
  2. Going out with a Flash: Tower cam temporarily frozen by lightning;
  3. Pirates of New Spain, 1575-1742 (Dover Maritime);
  4. Frozen Lightning by Jack Williamson?
  5. Captured Lightning: fractal-like Lichtenberg figures frozen in acrylic blocks by Bert Hickman.

Electrical treeing is a warning sign when a material is stressed by highly charged electric fields over a sustained period. But, the story of its creation appeals to the curiosity and scientist in all of us.

Frozen Lightning | F Lightning II

This delicate and intricate fractal pattern created by the awesome and wild force of "lightning" is an eternal source of mystery and amazement. Amaze and Intrigue See the awe when you show this to your friends and describe the powerful force that created this rare artifact.

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