© CNRS Images media - 2002

A lightning experiment in Berlin

Reference

1039

Duration

00:07:00

Production year

2002

Versions

Original material

Procédés audiovisuels

SD
4/3
Sound

Summary

The Franco-German Téramobile project has constructed the only mobile femtosecond laser in the world. Since the energy produced is concentrated into a very short time period, the power of this laser is unusually great - four terawatts. In the large auditorium of the University of Berlin, Jean-Pierre Wolf, a CNRS researcher, demonstrates one application of this laser: controlling the direction of lightning bolts.

Housed in its mobile laboratory container, this laser makes it possible to take measurements on site for a study of the atmosphere, which is an international first.

The purpose of this particular application of the project (which also includes several other applications), is to create a virtual lightning conductor which will cause lightning to strike in such a way as to protect vulnerable facilities such as airports and power stations.

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