Making Fractal Patterns With Electricity


Watch Anthony and Tara slow down mini lightning bolts and make Lichtenberg figures in wood!

Experiment Tips:
– Do not soak wood board with saline solution, simply apply one or two sprays onto the wood to start the reaction.
– Place the nails closer together, about 4-6 inches apart, for a stronger charge bewtween the two nails.

List of Materials Used:
– Wood Pieces
– Saline Solution (water + salt)
– Nails
– Hammer
– Neon sign transformer or other high voltage supply
– Clamps/Chargers

Lichtenberg Figures and Snowflakes

Like snowflakes, every Lichtenberg figure is unique and is a natural work of art.

Why Salt Water?

Salt solutions conduct electricity because they dissociate into respective ions which gets attracted towards cathode or anode according to their charge and this movement of ions conduct electricity.

Lightning Branch Patterns

Lightning bolts are effectively one-dimensional, but they must distribute electrical charge to a three-dimensional volume, and therefore must take jagged, branching paths to fill up the space in the most efficient manner.

No, this episode didn’t make Anthony bleed. Buy the Bacon Band-Aids seen in the video here:

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Hard Science Crew:
Executive Producer: Barry Pousman
Producer: Nicolette Bethea
Shooter: Michael Baca
Second Shooter: Matt Piniol
Production Assistant: Kendall Long
Editor: Conor Gordon

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