Artificial lightning, early 20th century

Artificial lightning, early 20th century

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Caption: Artificial lightning, early 20th-century artwork. This example of an artificial lightning discharge has been produced as part of electrical experiments on high-voltage alternating current. The electricity supplies electric charge that accumulates at a point source (left). This will eventually discharge to a contact point (right) if the voltage is high enough to overcome the insulating effect of the air or vacuum in-between. This is what happens when lightning discharges between a storm cloud and the ground. Artwork from the 26th volume (second period of 1900) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.

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