[Mark] just sent us in this fascinating example of Lichtenberg Figures, or more commonly known as Captured Lightning.
He just got married yesterday to his beautiful wife [Charlie] and they wanted to do something different for their bridal party. They chose to capture lightning inside acrylic spheres. Quite an impressive gift if we do say so ourselves!
The funny thing is, I was just reading [Theo Gray’s] Mad Science book which explains this phenomena. These Lichtenberg Figures are created by blasting a beam of high energy electrons at a piece of acrylic. Many of the electrons get trapped inside the acrylic and form a plane of charge. When the acrylic object gets struck with a grounding stud, a discharge path is formed and all the electrons escape, leaving a completely unique lightning-like path in their tracks.
Unfortunately to make these you’re going to need a linear accelerator; a very expensive machine that [Mark] was lucky enough to use through his work. However the couple didn’t stop there, they also designed the lighted base using a PIC12F1501 micro-controller to finish off the gifts!
See how they were made after the break! Just a heads up, the video is very loud when the electrons are fired! If you’re wearing headphones keep the volume low.