The Labs That Go Boom: Lightning Research Lab
Build Your Own One of These
IMAGE BY John B. Carnett
A lucky few engineering students at the University of Florida get to do something vaguely magical: conjure their own lightning...
Lab: Lightning Research Lab
Career: Lightning-tolerant spacecraft designer, power utilities engineer
To make bolts, students fire specially designed rockets, each of which trails metal wires connected to sensors, directly into thunderstorms. Students examine high-speed video of strikes to study lightning-bolt physics and test materials by directing bolts toward a target.