Scientists create a laser lightning rod and test it on a mountaintop in Switzerland


According to a study published in Nature Photonics, scientists created a laser lightning rod. And successfully tested the massive virtual laser on a mountaintop in Switzerland.

Global statistics point out that lightning causes up to 24,000 deaths a year. It can cause life-threatening power outages. It creates widespread regional forest fires on a seasonal basis. And lightning also damages or destroys infrastructure.

The groundbreaking laser lightning rod was developed by members of the European consortium. It was designed by Munich, Germany-based TRUMPF to withstand inclement weather including fog that often drifts around the mountain’s summit. And the massive weather-controlling laser was set up to divert lightning strikes. 

The large car-sized laser beam was installed near a telecom tower on the summit of Mount Säntis the tallest mountain in the region. It was chosen since lightning strikes the tower an estimated 100 times a year.

Laser lightning rod 

The study took place between July 21 and September 30, 2021. And abstract details weren’t released until January 2023.