New research involving UNSW Canberra has the potential to mitigate bushfire danger and advance surgical techniques.
Lightning never strikes twice, so the saying goes, but new technology may allow us to control where it hits the ground, reducing the risk of catastrophic bushfires.
Many of Australia’s devastating 2019-20 bushfires were caused by dry lightning strikes.
An international team of researchers, including scientists from UNSW Canberra and The Australian National University (ANU), are pioneering laser tractor beam technology that has the potential to control the path and direction of lightning.
Co-researcher Dr Vladlen Shvedov, from the ANU Research School of Physics, said the team used a laser beam that mirrors the same process as lightning and creates a path that directs electrical discharges to specific targets.