Thursday, July 1, 2010

Electrophorus' yield "Lichtenberg figures" [fractals]...forerunner to Xerography

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
July 1st, 1742 to February 24th, 1799

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg was a "German physicist and satirical writer, best known for his aphorisms and his ridicule of metaphysical and romantic excesses. At Göttingen University, Lichtenberg did research in a wide variety of fields, including geophysics, volcanology, meteorology, chemistry, astronomy, and mathematics. His most important were his investigations into physics. Notably, he constructed a huge electrophorus and, in the course of experimentations, discovered in 1777 the basic principle of modern xerographic copying; the images that he reproduced are still called "Lichtenberg figures." These are radial patterns formed when sharp, pointed conducting bodies at high voltage get near enough to insulators to discharge electrically, or seen on persons struck by lightning."

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg [Wikipedia]

The art...

Lichtenberg Figures [Wikipedia]

In nature...

Fractal geometry...dendrites in the cracking pattern of a sheet of ice

Manganese Dendrite

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