High power lasers direct lightning

Lightning rods have been used to safely guide lightning to the ground since the time of Benjamin Franklin, but their short range (about the same radius as their height) and fixed design make them ineffective for protecting large areas. laser lights

The technology here can perhaps replace them in some cases. European researchers have successfully tested a system that uses terawatt level laser pulses to direct lightning to the ground. It is not limited by its natural height and can cover much wider areas while penetrating clouds and fog.

"The experiment was carried out on Mount Santis in north-eastern Switzerland", he says the Washington Post. "A 124-meter communications tower there is equipped with a lightning rod, and it gets struck about a hundred times a year."

The new project ionizes nitrogen and oxygen molecules, releasing electrons and creating a plasma that conducts electricity. As the laser is fired at a very fast 1.000 pulses per second, it is much more likely to intercept the lightning as it forms.

In the test, conducted between June and September 2021, lightning followed the beam for almost 70 meters before being driven to the ground.

The findings were published in the journal Nature photonics. A video of the work of scientists has also published on YouTube.

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laser, lightning

Written by giorgos

George still wonders what he's doing here ...

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