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Acrylic Lichtenberg figure? Answered

I have only see a how to do it on wood. So is it possible to create a lichtenberg figure in plastic?

Ofc I have done my research on the topic but I'm not sure if a microwave transformer can do the trick. Or if a plain piece of acrylic is conductive enough to let the electron flow through.

Thank you for your reply

13 Replies

user
KitemanBest Answer (author)2015-12-26

Google for "acrylic lightning". You'll need a lot more than a microwave transformer, they need hundreds of thousands of volts, dumped from very large capacitor banks.

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Downunder35m (author)2015-12-25

You are confusing me!
What is the relation between making a figure from acrylic and a microwave transformer??
If you make such big jumps inside you mind it might be helpful to add a few more step in your written form so others cn follow.

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BertHickman (author)Downunder35m2017-02-08

There is no relationship. The processes are completely different. Microwave oven transformers (or other high-voltage sources) can be used to create carbonized surface Lichtenberg figures on wood or wood products. The surface is made partially-conductive by applying a water solution, often mixed with a little baking soda to make it more electrically conductive. When HV is applied, fractal-like conductive carbonized surface paths are created over a period of seconds or minutes as the wood breaks down under high voltage stress, with the pattern growing along the borders of the drying water solution. Although the process is dangerous (due to the high voltages), careful hobbyists can easily do this at home.

In the case of acrylic Lichtenberg figures, electrons are actually injected deep INSIDE the acrylic by a high-energy particle accelerator. We use electron beam energies between 2 and 5 million electron volts (MeV). As electrons accumulate inside the acrylic, the potential of the internal charge region climbs. Because acrylic is an excellent electrical insulator, the excess electrons become temporarily trapped inside. When fully charged, the potential of the charged region inside the acrylic can easily exceed 2.5 million volts. Poking the surface of the acrylic with a sharp metal point allows the internal charge to suddenly escape in a brilliant flash and bang. The intense heat and pressure along the discharge paths create millions of tubes and fractures, leaving behind a permanent "fossil" Lichtenberg figure. The complete Lichtenberg figure is created in less than 1 millionth of a second.

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iceng (author)2015-12-25

Hopefully your research is a bit improved...

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steveastrouk (author)iceng2015-12-26

LINK ! That's beautiful.

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steveastrouk (author)iceng2015-12-26

I DID, I just ordered a piece off them ! Watch the video of the creation process. Awe-inspiring.

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iceng (author)steveastrouk2015-12-30

When you get your art piece I hope you post a picture...

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steveastrouk (author)iceng2015-12-31

Its just arrived, its very pretty. I need to make a light source.

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Shizen (author)iceng2015-12-31

*facepalm*
I picked Kiteman's answer as best one already...

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Shizen (author)iceng2015-12-29

Ofc I know that, I'm asking if I can MAKE one myself

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steveastrouk (author)Shizen2015-12-30

Read the article in the link Iceng has posted.

No.

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