Given by: Dr. James Espinosa, Professor
Department of Physics, Rhodes College
Wednesday, April 16
Manning Hall room 201
Refeshments will be served at 3:30pm in Manning Hall 222
For the past hundred years, underwater sparks have been studied with numerous applications
in mind, most recently as an active sonar source. They share many features of lightning
in air, including breakdown strength and physical appearance, causing most of the
community to believe that electron avalanches are a critical part of the process of
dielectric breakdown in water.
A brief overview will be given of a model that explains most empirical data up to
this point and indicate new avenues of research. One of these new applications suggested
by this new theory is the utilization of underwater sparks to create nanostructures.
Carbon and silicon nanotubes have been created with underwater sparks. Preliminary
results of this ongoing research will be presented, including the direction of further