Captured Lightning Sculpture – Texas


These Captured Lightning® sculptures were created by injecting trillions of electrons into a piece of clear acrylic using a 5 million volt particle accelerator. Electrons were first injected from the one side, the specimen rotated 180 degrees, and additional electrons were injected through the opposite side. This created two intensely-charged layers of excess electrons inside the specimen, each located about one-half inch below the surface. The charge layer on one side was then manually discharged. The escaping electrons created a brilliant flash of “lightning” that propagated upward through the nearest charge layer. Additional discharges then grew from the first layer to the second layer, forming a complex, beautifully interconnected 3D structure. The entire discharge event takes less than 100 billionths of a second! The resulting sculpture is illuminated from below by light emitting diodes (LED’s). Each of our Captured Lightning sculptures contains an incredibly detailed fractal discharge pattern. Unlike laser art, every one of our sculptures is a one-of-a-kind treasure. As they branch, the discharge channels become increasingly smaller, and the microscopic, hair-like tips ultimately disappear into the acrylic. The smallest discharges are thought to extend down to the molecular level. – Bert Hickman

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Sold By:  Petroleum Museum
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