Laser Used to Trigger Lightning in a Thunderstorm

Laser Used to Trigger Lightning in a Thunderstorm

European scientists have discovered how to trigger lightning with a laser

A team of European scientists has deliberately triggered electrical activity in thunderclouds for the first time by aiming high-power pulses of laser light into a thunderstorm. At the top of South Baldy Peak in New Mexico during two passing thunderstorms, the researchers used laser pulses to create plasma filaments that could conduct electricity. No air-to-ground lightning was triggered because the filaments were too short-lived, but the laser pulses generated discharges in the thunderclouds themselves up to several meters long.

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