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High voltage wood erosion.
March 4, 2013 7:48 AM   Subscribe

How beautiful it is when you allow high voltage electricity to burn it's way through wood? Very beautiful.
posted by OmieWise (23 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is a great way to get a wall decoration similar to a $90,000 Hiroshi Sugimoto print. without the price tag.
posted by Halogenhat at 7:52 AM on March 4, 2013


Beautiful. I want to do this.
posted by orme at 7:57 AM on March 4, 2013


It's the same shape as you get from being hit by lightning. But without the cachet of having been hit by lightning.
posted by jeather at 8:08 AM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lichtenberg patterns I think they are called.
posted by njohnson23 at 8:15 AM on March 4, 2013


Definitely cool, but this video was linked in the Pepto Bismol/Bismuth thread yesterday about the same artist/scientist/cool person.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:17 AM on March 4, 2013


Yep. That's what it looks like when He Who Waits Behind the Wall tries to enter our dimension: forked lightning patterns followed by oozing black sludge.
posted by logicpunk at 8:20 AM on March 4, 2013


Definitely cool, but this video was linked in the Pepto Bismol/Bismuth thread yesterday about the same artist/scientist/cool person.

Did not see that post or comment. I think it still stands as a post on it's own, unless the mods disagree.
posted by OmieWise at 8:36 AM on March 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


when you reverse the polarity the wood heals!
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:39 AM on March 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'll bet it smells pretty good too.
posted by panglos at 9:47 AM on March 4, 2013


Reminds me of these, too. Similar shape, totally different cause.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 10:01 AM on March 4, 2013


A comment on the Vimeo page with more details:

Yes, the grain of the wood influences the pattern and direction. The layers of veneer and the glue that holds them together causes the growth to progress much slower than in non-plywood. This is sped up hundreds of thousands of times.

posted by ShooBoo at 10:16 AM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think I just benoited* myself.

* this should totally be word b/c fractals are sexy, but monsieur Mandelbrot's wikipedia image is kind of the opposite.
posted by sparklemotion at 10:18 AM on March 4, 2013


Does anybody happen to know how one produces 15,000 volts?
Preferably safely.
posted by speug at 11:30 AM on March 4, 2013


I love what happens when the tendrils from two different sources meet! It reminds me of a description I heard once about getting struck by lightning, that the electricity is constantly branching out little arms looking for something to jump to, and then when one of those arms finds something - BLAMMO - all the energy goes down that one path. Which is why you don't want to be the tallest thing in a lightning storm, because the little arms find you before anything else. The image I had in my head looked exactly like this wood. Very cool.
posted by vytae at 11:45 AM on March 4, 2013


speug: neon sign transformers are cheap (~$50-$100) and plentiful, and typically produce 10-15 kV. They are also used for tesla coils and Jacob's ladders.
posted by Mars Saxman at 12:20 PM on March 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thank you MS. Neon sign transformers + google = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VPL3C9sqSuA
Looks safe enough.

(Not, one hopes, famous last words.)
posted by speug at 12:35 PM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't want to freak out anyone out, but those look like arteries! It's alive!!
posted by phaedon at 1:23 PM on March 4, 2013


They look like fractals and this is even prettier than burning a milk crate.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 1:40 PM on March 4, 2013


Pretty funky; the lichtenberg figures I've seen (and own) are etched into acrylic blocks, and are a lot more instantaneous than this burning process - there are some great videos over on capturedlightning.com - but yeah, I'd imagine that the slowly charring wood smells miles better than the blast of ozone and burned plastic :)
posted by Chunder at 2:09 PM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Where are the instructions? I would love to have panels like these in my house.
posted by LarryC at 5:08 PM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can do similar with unwanted optical media, a standard microwave, a coffee mug of water for absorbing the excess energy, and about 2-3 seconds. (5 at the most. if it starts to smoke, you've done it for too long)

Remember to turn off the kitchen lights first.
posted by radwolf76 at 11:15 PM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I saw this on The Verge... I'm starting to wonder what vibe that site is going for. Mashup of the NPR and Reddit crowds?
posted by nrobertson at 12:33 PM on March 5, 2013


there are some instructions for wood-burning on the capturedlightning.com site.

video
posted by warbaby at 9:01 PM on March 5, 2013


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