Since the introduction of the lightning rod over one hundred years ago by Benjamin Franklin, its adoption as a means of protection against destructive atmospheric discharges such as lightning bolts, has been practically universal. In a recent discussion on the subject of lightning protection, Dr. Nikola Tesla of New York, brings out many interesting facts not generally known concerning the real efficacy of the ordinary lightning rod as installed on houses, barns and public buildings all over the world.
Says, Dr. Tesla, “The efficacy of the ordinary lightning rod is to a certain degree unquestionably establisht thru statistical records, but there is generally a prevalent, nevertheless, a singular theoretical fallacy as to its operation, and its construction is radically defective in one feature, namely its typical pointed terminal.” In his new form of lightning protecting rod and terminal here illustrated, Tesla avoids all such points on the metal parts facing skyward, and uses an entirely different form and arrangement of terminals.
delmoi: "Technically plasma is a form of fluid, right? So lightning is in fact a fluid."
Over a year ago, NOAA’s Scott Rudlosky and I began discussing an effort to match a lightning photograph with its corresponding lightning data recorded by the Washington D.C. Lightning Mapping Array (DCLMA). We felt that we could learn more about the lightning that we see flashing across the sky by investigating the data behind the flash, such as where it originated, where it traveled, its elevation, and where it struck ground. But we needed a good lightning photo to compare with the data, and the lightning photograph needed to be taken within the DCLMA boundaries which spans much of the greater Washington area.
Finally, on the evening of June 29 - the night of the destructive derecho storm, we had our opportunity. During an intense storm chase with Ian Livingston, I photographed a unique lightning discharge over Washington. I emailed the photo to Scott with the time/date stamp and he began his investigative work.
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