On the occurrence of 'bead lightning' phenomena in long laboratory sparks

S. P.A. Vayanganie, V. Cooray, Mahbubur Rahman, Pasan Hettiarachchi, Oscar Diaz, M. Fernando

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Scopus citations


    The formation of bead lightning, where the lightning channel appears to break up into luminous fragments, is still an object of speculation. Here we report similar observations in laboratory discharges. Analysis of time resolved photographs shows that the discharge channel exhibits a 'bead pattern' in the decaying stage of the discharge and the occurrence of loops in the channel sections where the bead pattern is observed. This result presents the first evidence that the rapid cooling of non-uniform channel sections could lead to the formation of beads. It is suggested that periodically occurring non-uniform channel sections could explain the bead pattern of lightning discharges.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)816-821
    Number of pages6
    JournalPhysics Letters, Section A: General, Atomic and Solid State Physics
    Issue number7-8
    StatePublished - Feb 22 2016


    • Bead lightning
    • Long laboratory sparks

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Physics and Astronomy


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