Like a Bolt from Above

Like a Bolt from Above

Lightning scientists begin to solve electric mysteries

By Alexandra Witze, 11:09 AM October 20, 2011

SOCORRO, N.M. — Ten thousand feet high in the New Mexico mountains, Jake Trueblood is getting ready to fire rockets into a thunderstorm.

He lines up eight rockets, straight as soldiers, then connects each to a wire bobbin once used to guide missiles for the French military. Trueblood arms the rockets and heads underground, then waits for hours in a windowless chamber on whose metal roof the rockets sit.

Trueblood, a graduate student at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in S...

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