Lichtenberg Figures – Garden of Forking Electrical Paths.

Lichtenberg Figures
Lichtenberg Figures

Dendritic forms occur pretty much across the board in natural processes, from the very tiny to the very large – and, as such, they are a kind of archetypal signature of dynamical systems of either very long or very short periodicity. At the latter end the scale we find these branching paths in the dramatic formations of Litchenberg Dust Figures. These are marks left from traceries of branching electrical discharges – frozen in space-time appearing as ‘electron trees, beam trees, or lightning trees’ in certain materials. Interestingly, it is posited that this process formation may continue downwards in scale to the molecular level!

A strange kind of temporary body scarification occurs, sometimes, when people are struck by lightning. The familiar forking pathways insinuate themselves on the surface of the victim’s skin.

This kind of branching is not only confined to electrical charges. Make some sparks from a lighter without igniting a flame. Looking carefully you will see that each spark creates a subset of sparks, forking in a similar a way.

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