Just what causes lightning? Amazingly we still do not know. We know what it is, just not why. There have been numerous experiments to study the causality of lightning and one of the latest is being developed by Greg Leyh, using the Lightning Foundry.
The Lightning Foundry is basically two ten-story tall Tesla coils that stand 260 feet apart. According to Leyh, there is evidence to suggest that stretching the arc over 200 feet will allow the electricity produced to gain “lightning-like abilities.” And that is the whole point. The idea is that the two towers will allow researchers a safe way to study the mystery of how lightning is initiated.
This project is not cheap (Well, in a sense it is) so they are using Kickstarter to help fund it. The goal is to raise $348,000. That’s actually pretty cheap, all things considered. Plans from a few years back had a price tag of $8.9 million, but Leyh is smart as well as thrifty. The Lightning Foundry can be accomplished cheaply thanks to “obtainium,” which means using and purchasing used materials and equipment from closed companies which have rock bottom prices.
At the time of this writing, this Kickstarter project has 11 days to go, has 235 backers, and they have raised $29,158.