Forget Instruments. These Guys Make Music With ... LIGHTNING.

These beats are electrifying.

Every sound we hear is our brain's interpretation of vibrations in the air. Musical instruments are classified into strings, brass, woodwind, and percussion based on the method they use to create vibrations. Now that we're in the 21st century, scientists are able to create vibrations and make music by harnessing the power of lightning.


How is this magic accomplished?

Joe Hanson of It's Okay To Be Smart and Dianna Cowern, better known as Physics Girl, recently visited ARCATTACK, which uses Tesla coils — electrical coils that produce high-frequency currents —  to make musical lightning. 

Unlike traditional musical instruments that rely on physical contact with an instrument to vibrate the air, this does it on a molecular level. The electricity discharges from the coil into the air as a lightning bolt and the ensuing temperature surge triggers a shock wave — vibrating the air.

In order to hit specific notes, the frequency of the electric current is changed. A computer program is able to alter the signal sent to the coil, which makes it possible to write a song for the lightning to play.

How cool is that?

In the video, Joe decides to get in on the action. He dons protective coverings, then dances up a storm as he is blasted with tens of thousands of volts.  

Kids, don't try this at home!

But DO check out ARCATTACK's shocking tunes and watch Joe become a human lightning rod here:

Cover image: It's Okay To Be Smart


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