3D Models of Electrical Streamers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Study

Published: Sep 30, 2013

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Streamers may be great for decorating a child’s party, but in dielectrics, they are the primary origin of electric breakdown. They can cause catastrophic damage to electrical equipment, harm the surrounding environment, and lead to large-scale power outages. Understanding streamers and the mechanisms behind their initiation, acceleration and branching is necessary to devise better solutions to avoid them. As recently reported in the Journal of Applied Physics, a team of researchers at MIT have developed an accurate 3-D model of streamer propagation that qualitatively and quantitatively describes the streamer development, an advance that may impact applications such as medical imaging, aerospace engineering, power transmission, atmospheric sensing, natural sciences, sensing technologies and large-scale industry.

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