Scientists Learn New Facts About Lightning

Issue 10 and Volume 101.

Scientists Learn New Facts About Lightning Dr. E. L. Harder, Westinghouse Electric Corporation lightning authority, has disclosed that company scientists are now making “carbon copies” of mighty lightning bolts in a quest to improve man’s defenses against one of nature’s most destructive forces. By reproducing in the laboratory natural strokes “trapped” at outdoor experiment stations, the scientists are building up a complete lightning library for research use. The most powerful lightning stroke ever recorded by Westinghouse engineers occurred during the summer of 1947. The bolt was estimated at 345.000 amperes—equal to the current flowing into 300,000 homes—and was so powerful that it damaged part of the equipment set up to trap it. Since that time new and improved equipment has been installed at the Westinghouse experimental station atop the University of Pittsburgh’s 535-foot Cathedral of Learning. Dr. Harder has disclosed that lightning research has turned up many unusual facts. For…

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