The idea to create lightning has been in my mind forever. The lightning’s path is the path of least resistance. Due to a huge potential difference between the cloud and the ground, a current passes through the atmosphere between them. Current always likes to traverse the path of least resistance. The resistance depends upon upon the density of conducting molecules which constantly keeps fluctuating at any given point in the surrounding air. That may imply that the lightning should always take a random path making it impossible to reach the ground. But the the huge potential difference makes the direction towards the ground more probable than to the sides which leads the lightning to strike, discharging the cloud considerably. So, in order to make lightning, one must devise a program so that the walk is preferentially to the bottom than the sides.
These particular walks have each around 200,000 steps each. It takes time of about less than a second for the program to compute the coordinates of points so that a line can be drawn through them. But it takes a lot more time to export it as an image file. The images are anywhere between 14 and 20 Megapixels. I will explain the developments below.
1. Some initial models
The initial methods which I employed involved starting several walks from a single point. These were done as trial in the month of July 2013. I have tried to improvise them for several days ultimately giving-up the idea for later.
Whenever a lightning streak appears one can also observe that it divides itself at random points giving rise to branches. Applying that to the program gave some interesting results.
3. Later Ones
I have in this case, deliberately controlled where the branching occurs and also changed the constant for the potential leading to the following figures.
These are just the preliminary versions. I will update the revised versions once I complete working on them. I have done their 3-D versions also but they cannot be presented here.
A Note from Fermibot :
Most of the time I takes a lot of time for an idea to transform into a work of art. Sometimes one cannot figure-out the syntax for writing the program. On other instances when program includes large computation involving several variables at a time, the lack of computing power at disposal slackens and often hinders the development. Apart from those, perhaps the most important thing is finding the right constants for your equations. These constants are just numbers and may change the complete appearance of the work depending on how they are used. This is especially true when one is using several hundreds of thousands of iterations (repeatedly applying something, like for the lightning above). A slight change in the constant’s value may often reveal itself disastrously when enough control is not imposed on it. So a proper choice of the constants used alongside the variables becomes vital.