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The Lords of Lightning

Lord of Lightning

When the two performers stretch their arms towards each other the sparks fly between them, creating brilliant electrical discharges.

By Stephen Luntz

The Big Day Out music festival this year hosted two performers using Tesla coils to hurl lightning bolts at each other.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Along with the bands, patrons of the Big Day Out music festival this year were treated to the sight of two men in metal suits hurling bolts of lightning at each other. While most may have simply gasped at the show, the inventor of the idea believes that the show offers plenty of opportunity to teach the public about electricity in a truly memorable way.

The show relies on two Tesla coils that sit inside platforms raised above a stage. Two performers start in front of the platforms back-to-back like knights about to engage in combat. When the coils are turned on the platforms discharge into the air with sparks jumping in all directions.

As each performer raises his hands the sparks, finding an easier path to ground, jump from the platforms to the chainmail of the suit, with electricity flowing through the suit and into the stage. The presence of a receiving conductor makes the sparks longer and stronger, so they do indeed look more like natural lightning than a simple spark.

After an initial display of pyrotechnics on the stage, the suited performers climb ladders to the platforms. The electricity is drawn up through their suits and jumps from their gloves or the horns on their helmets to the air around them. When the two stretch their arms towards each other the sparks fly between them, creating brilliant electrical discharges.

Lords of Lightning...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.