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Photographer Summons Miniature Lightning in his Free Time

Photographer Summons Miniature Lightning in his Free Time

Excuse me, while I spend the rest of my days aimlessly calling down thunderstorms in my living room. Because, This:

Image: Frie

Photographer and science enthusiast Marc Simon Frei created this stunning set of images by arcing objects to a small Tesla coil, and exposing the resulting plasma for 4 seconds. It looks a bit ominous, but this is actually a venture into science art that you can easily recreate at home.

Thors

The principles behind the Tesla coil are relatively simple if you keep in mind that an electrical current is just a flow of electrons, much like a stream is a flow of water molecules. The power here lies in “electromagnetic induction,” a process in which a changing magnetic field in the coils creates a difference in electric potential (or voltage) that forces current to flow through the air. You see it here in brilliant blue, because Tesla’s namesake contraption also houses a capacitor that stores charge and fires it all at once. In other words, if the Tesla coil was Thor, the capacitor would be its Mjölnir.

By using a long exposure time, Frei is able to capture multiple bolts in every image, an effect that screams “it’s alive!” Tesla was actually known to use these mad-scientist electrical theatrics to scare guests in his lab (the original coil generated a ridiculous 12-million volts…but who’s counting).

Image: Frie

Image: Frie

Image: Frie

Image: Frie

Image: Frie

When he’s not busy playing Asgardian, Frie spends his time working on LED-illuminated cloud installations, and experimenting with supercharged lightbulbs. Just shut up, and take our money.

IMAGES: Marc Simon Frie

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