Electric events synchronized with laser filaments in thunderclouds

Opt Express. 2008 Apr 14;16(8):5757-63. doi: 10.1364/oe.16.005757.


We investigated the possibility to trigger real-scale lightning using ionized filaments generated by ultrashort laser pulses in the atmosphere. Under conditions of high electric field during two thunderstorms, we observed a statistically significant number of electric events synchronized with the laser pulses, at the location of the filaments. This observation suggests that corona discharges may have been triggered by filaments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Atmosphere*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Ecosystem*
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Lasers*
  • Lightning*
  • Models, Theoretical*