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Johann Bernoulli Lecture | The Unseen Structures of Lightning | Ute Ebert

When:Tu 02-04-2024 19:30 - 21:00
Where:Aula Academy Building, Broerstraat 5

What exactly is lightning? While many envision lightning as the dramatic bolts connecting clouds to the ground, in reality 90% of significant electric discharges remain within the clouds. Some extend horizontally for hundreds of kilometres, while others surge upwards toward the ionosphere. These discharges generate large amounts of greenhouse gases and under certain conditions they trigger nuclear reactions and create antimatter. But how does this phenomenon occur? To comprehend the mechanics of lightning, we must delve into processes occurring at speeds far too rapid for human perception. Drawing from laboratory experiments, computer models, and observations from the ground, planes and space, what insights have we gained into the nature of lightning?

Ute Ebert leads the research group on Multiscale Dynamics of the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam, and she is full professor of Applied Physics at Eindhoven University of Technology. Her group investigates electric discharges in thunderstorms and high-voltage technology through mathematical modelling and many joint projects with colleagues, from engineering to applied physics to the geosciences. In 2023, she was appointed as fellow of the American Geophysical Union. 

Johann Bernoulli Lecture 
The Johann Bernoulli Lecture is an annual event initiated by the Johann Bernoulli Stichting voor de Wiskunde in honour of the mathematician Johann Bernoulli. It features distinguished speakers who present lectures on various topics in mathematics and related fields. This edition is a collaboration between The Johann Bernoulli Stichting, het Koninklijk Genootschap voor de Natuurkunde (KNG) and Studium Generale Groningen.