Lichtenberg figures (Lichtenberg-Figuren, or "Lichtenbergian Dust Figures") are branching electric discharges that sometimes appear on the surface or the interior of insulating materials. They are named after the German physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, who originally discovered and studied them. When they were first discovered, it was thought that their characteristic shapes might help to reveal the nature of positive and negative electric "fluids". In 1777, Lichtenberg built a large Electrophorus in order to generate high voltage static electricity through induction. By discharging a high voltage point to the surface of an insulator, he was able to record the resulting radial patterns in fixed dust. By then pressing blank sheets of paper onto these pattens, Lichtenberg was able to transfer and record these images, thereby discovering the basic principle of modern Xerography. This discovery was also the forerunner of modern day plasma physics. Although Lichtenberg only studied 2-dimensional (2D) figures, modern high voltage researchers study 2D and 3D figures (electrical trees) on, and within, insulating materials. Lichtenberg figures are now known to be examples of fractals.
Trap Lightning in a Block
subcultured at 12:11AM, Feb. 26, 2008
whoa...that looks cged
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:03PM
Eunice P at 7:28AM, Feb. 28, 2008
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:23PM
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