Scientists get closer to generating lightning bolts on-demand by firing laser pulses at thunderclouds
By Gregory MonePosted 04.14.2008 at 8:10 am 4 Comments
Scientists have been trying to figure out how to stimulate lightning strikes with lasers for several decades, and now a group of European researchers have made an important advance.
The group, led by Jerome Kasparian of the University of Lyon, used laser pulses to trigger electrical activity in thunderclouds passing over New Mexico's South Baldy Peak. By tweaking these laser pulses in the future, Kasparian thinks they should be able to create charged channels of molecules that act like conducting wires, and provide the lightning with a path to the ground.