Letter | Published:

The Optics of the Lightning Flash

Nature volume 42, pages 197198 | Download Citation



IN the extract from Mr. Shelford Bidwell's recent lecture on “Lightning” at the London Institution, which appeared in your issue of June 12 (p. 151), I notice the author says that the lightning flash of artists has no existence in nature, and that it is an artistic fiction or symbol. May I venture to trespass on your valuable space to refer to a paper which I had the honour of reading before the Royal Meteorological Society (published in the current Quarterly Journal of the Society) only a few days after the delivery of Mr. Shelford Bidwell's lecture? In this paper I endeavoured to show how the “zigzag” flash so often seen by observers, and frequently depicted by artists, may have its counterpart in nature, quite consistently with the evidence of the photographs of lightning flashes collected by the Royal Meteorological Society.

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  1. 10 Observatory Avenue, Kensington, W., June 16.



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