Researchers at Duke Universitys Pratt School of Engineering have captured the best images ever produced of "sprites" -- mysterious flashes of light resembling giant undulating jellyfish that can occur above strong thunderstorms -- using a high-speed camera that recorded thousands of video frames a second.
The researchers said their findings could lead to a better understanding of the physics and chemistry of this fleeting, still-unexplained lightning phenomenon. They recorded and analyzed video of sprites associated with powerful thunderstorms occurring over the Great Plains during the summer of 2005. Their findings are scheduled to appear online in Geophysical Research Letters on Feb. 22. The research was supported by the National Science Foundation.
"By analyzing the high-speed images in sequence, weve been able to clearly define, for the first time, the processes by which sprites develop and what happens inside of them," said Steven Cummer, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Dukes Pratt School. "This understanding of sprite structure is a necessary step to further elucidate sprite dynamics and their possible effects on the upper atmosphere."
Kendall Morgan | EurekAlert!
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Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
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