Several years ago, I wrote a MAKE: article about Greg Leyh, a brilliant, understated high-voltage engineer/artist in San Francisco who builds the world's largest Tesla coils. For as long as I've known Greg, his dream has been to create a massive lightning laboratory with two 10-story Tesla Coil towers to study high-power scientific phenomena. Indeed, Greg's operation is called Lightning On Demand. With the only barrier being money, Greg has now come up with a "highly cost-optimized version" of the Lightning Laboratory. With this new design, Greg only needs $348,000 to make it happen. And he's launched a Kickstarter project to seek funding to build this magnificent DIY scientific instrument. Greg says:
Rather than being a purpose-built, conservatively designed machine, the new approach is literally designed around used materials, scrap and salvaged equipment. There’s a lot of great obtainium out there these days!
This new design should still be able to produce the conditions needed to trigger a relativistic avalanche as per Gurevich and Zybin’s calculations [200kV/m, 50m characteristic avalanche length.] Ultimately I hope to trigger a super-long discharge event and discover if there’s any connection with Gurevich’s relativistic runaway breakdown theory, or at least get some gamma-ray precursors.
"The Lightning Foundry
"Power Tripping" (MAKE: Volume 11)
I asked Amy Parness, the co-founder of Sparkle Labs, maker of fantastic educational electronics kits, to write a Medium post about gender and the business of being a maker business person. Her terrific essay calls out the problems with “pink girly engineering kits.” From Medium:
Zero UI is the new term for “invisible interfaces”—what happens in the future when all the clicking and tapping and typing is history: “If you look at the history of computing, starting with the jacquard loom in 1801, humans have always had to interact with machines in a really abstract, complex way.” [Fast Company]
CEO Dick Costolo will resign, to be replaced in the interim by Jack Dorsey
The Lytro Illum dares to be different, boasting even more robust features than its first generation predecessor and a sleek design reminiscent of professional DSLRs. What’s so cool about it? Most cameras capture the position of light rays, producing a statoc 2D image.
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