Here’s the best use of $348,000 you’ll hear today: Using it to construct a pair of 10-story tall Tesla Coils, the largest in the world, and use them to simulate the effects of lightning in a controlled environment. That’s the plan of Greg Leyh and the project he calls The Lightning Foundry which is currently seeking funding through Kickstarter. But in addition to the complete badassitude of the project, Leyh has science on the mind as well.
According to Leyh, one of the many curious properties of lighting is how it can achieve such incredible length of discharge using comparatively low voltage. This effect is apparently observable at discharges beyond 200 feet, which is why the Lightning Foundry’s twin Tesla Coils will be placed about 260 feet apart. In this configuration, Leyh hopes to explore the origins of lightning, and provide a laboratory for extreme voltage experiments.
This all might sound insane — and in fact, it might be, but Leyh has already constructed enormous Tesla Coils before, so if anyone is qualified to do it, it’s probably he and his team.
However, there’s also a degree of showmanship to Leyh’s plan. Much of his background has been with using lightning-like effects in an artistic setting, which is why if you donate above the $75 level, you’ll be able to attend a free public display of The Lightning Foundry once it’s complete. That right there sounds like it’s worth donating to, regardless of the cost.
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