This Is What 15,000 Volts Look Like Going Into a Piece of Wood | Smart News | Smithsonian
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This Is What 15,000 Volts Look Like Going Into a Piece of Wood

More things in the world should be described as lightning made from molasses. Delicious, yet deadly

smithsonian.com

This is what it looks like when you apply 15,000 Volts to a piece of wood.

How does this work? Today Technology has a little explanation:

When lightning flashes across the sky, you only get a chance to glimpse its fractal form for a split second. But when you send 15,000 volts coursing through plywood, you get a much better look at how it grows. Melanie Hoff, a student at the Pratt Institute in New York City did just that, and the result is a timelapse where you can see the patterns slowly grow out and smolder, like lightning made from molasses.

And some of the effects have to do with the wood itself, says The Verge:

The effect is undeniably mesmerizing, but Hoff says much of that is due to the unique properties of the plywood she used. “he grain of the wood influences the pattern and direction,” the artist wrote in a comment on her video. “The layers of veneer and the glue that holds them together causes the growth to progress much slower than in non-plywood.” She added that her footage was later “sped up hundreds of thousands of times,” resulting in the hypnotic finished product.

More things in the world should be described as lightning made from molasses. Delicious, yet deadly.

More from Smithsonian.com:

Lightning May Trigger Migraine Headaches
Volcanic Lightning

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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