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Let There be Lightning:
A Highly Visible Form of Energy Transfer, Part I

by Bill Mikuska

FRIDAY, March 21, 2014

To be held at

McCrone Research Institute
2820 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60616

6:00 PM: ATTENTION BOARD MEMBERS: Board meeting to select the 2014 SMSI award recipient.

6:30 PM: Italian food (Lenten options available): Tariff ~ $15.00

Contact Freddie Smith for Reservations / Cancellations at 312-842-7100 or Freddie@mcri.org by Noon THURSDAY, March 20, 2014

7:30 PM: Presentation
Hamlets's comment “Aye, there's the rub” best describes lightning. Lightning is enigmatic in that cosmic rays and radioactivity provide substance for cloud electrification through convection, and the friction between ice and water droplet collisions in the graupel-ice model for cloud electrification provide another. Reality is probably a bit of both. In this multi-part presentation, lightning’s history, awareness, and protection provide the links between the Earths electrostatics, microscopy, transient luminous events, thermo-nuclear attack/event detection and volcanic lightning among others. “Macek’s back was a sheet of light and my hand produced a shower of erupting sparks loud enough to be heard all over the place” said Nicola Tesla one evening about his pet cat. His father remarked that “this is nothing but electricity, the same thing you see on the trees in a storm.” Tesla wondered “Is nature a gigantic cat? If so, who strokes its back?”

Bio Sketch: Bill C. Mikuska received his BS and MS in chemistry from the Illinois Institute of Technology with emphasis in physical chemistry and chemical physics. Research studies included gas-surface interactions by molecular beams and X-ray induced defects in alkali halide crystals. A 30 year teaching career at Triton College followed where he engaged students to use polarized light microscopy in independent study projects. He was president of the State Microscopical Society of Illinois for 9.5 years and has received the Emile Chamot award. Bill is also a fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society. He taught classes in polarized light microscopy to high school students, high school and middle school teachers, and engineers at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and at the Argonne National Laboratory. Most recently he became a member of the Rowfant Club, a bibliophilic society founded in Cleveland in 1892. His interests range from classical music (organ performance and practice), Venetian and French glass, antique bronzes, art, meteoritics, mineralogy, and botany.


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