Captured Lightnings by Bert Hickman

Bert Hickman and physicist friend Todd Johnson creates 'Captured Lightnings' made by blasting a block of acrylic with a 5 million volts particle accelerator, creating permanent patterns that reflect light.

“We were intrigued by the incredible beauty and the physics of Lichtenberg Figures but we were continually frustrated by their scarcity. A group of fellow “Spark Whisperers” (physicists and electrical engineers) decided to conduct independent research into the theory and technique of producing them.”

“To create our sculptures, we rent “beam time” on a 5 million volt particle accelerator. As the accelerator injects huge numbers of electrons inside a clear acrylic plastic specimen, a huge electrical charge (typically 1 – 2.5 million volts) builds inside.”

He manually creates an escape route for the electrical charge, a weakened path through the acrylic, causing a miniature 'lightning storm'. The intense heat from this miniature lightning creates branching patterns that are permanently captured within the acrylic. These patterns are a ‘fossilized’ chain of microscopic fractures and tubes that reflect light like microscopic mirrors.

Bert Hickman’s works are scientifically known as Lichtenberg figures, named after German physicist Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, who recorded the patterns in 1777.

The 'Captured Lightning' sculptures are available online for between £17-£299.

Check his website:

Source: dailymail


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