MARYVILLE, Mo., July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/-- Researchers at Langmuir Laboratory for Atmospheric Research at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro report new discoveries about lightning from data obtained in a funded research project established to measure stroke activity. The "Charles B. Moore Fund" was organized in 2010 through a $20,000 donation from the Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) in honor of the late Professor Charles B. Moore, renowned researcher of atmospheric physics and pioneer of lightning exploration. The first disbursement of the Fund was used to purchase a digital oscilloscope for testing lightning triggering activities at the underground lightning observation laboratories on South Baldy Peak in the Magdalena Mountains. New imaging with a high-speed camera revealed that a pulse of lightning that appears in a continuously luminous channel is the result of a dart leader in one branch merging with another branch having a continuous current.
"The findings at Langmuir are significant because they reveal a better understanding of thunderstorms and lightning activity—which can have important implications for increased development of safety standards and codes for lightning protection," said Bill Winn, research chairman at Langmuir Laboratory. "LPI's funding will help Langmuir continue research pioneered by Professor Moore, who was responsible for many contributions in the understanding of thunderstorms and lightning."
Moore who was professor emeritus of physics at New Mexico Tech and former chairman of Tech's Langmuir Laboratory for Atmospheric Research passed away on March 2, 2010 in Socorro, New Mexico. He was internationally known for his research on the electrical aspects of thunderstorms and volcanoes. Moore was considered an expert in atmospheric research, weather modification and practical issues of lightning protection. He nominally retired in 1985, and began work with the NFPA 780 committee (Standard for the Installation of Lightning Protection) and conducted research which revealed blunt-tipped lightning rods to be better strike receptors than sharp-tipped rods.
The Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) is a not-for-profit nationwide group founded in 1955 to promote lightning safety, awareness and education and is a leading source of information for lightning protection information and system requirements. LPI formed a committee in 2010 to recommend commemoration of Moore and donation of a research fund in acknowledgement of the professor's contributions to the lightning protection industry.
SOURCE Lightning Safety Alliance