"Keely has discovered and was the first to demonstrate that electricity has never been handled; that it is not merely a force or a form of energy, - that it is matter; and that what we call electricity, and have diverted for commercial use in electric lighting, is but one of the triune currents, harmonic, enharmonic, and diatonic, which are united in pure electricity; that the enharmonic current seems to be sympathetically and mysteriously associated with the dominant current; and that the dominant current can no more be brought under control than can the lightning itself. The diversion of the dominant current would mean destruction to any mechanical medium used for that purpose, and death to the operator. The intense heat evolved by the electric stream Keely attributes to the velocity of the triple subdivision at the point of dispersion, as each triple seeks its medium of affinity. Sudden unition induces the same effect; but demonstration shows that the concentration of this triple force is as free of percussion as is the breath of an infant against the atmosphere; for the three currents flow together as in one stream, in the mildest sympathetic way, while their discharge after concentration is, in comparison to their accumulation, as the tornado's force to the waft of the butterfly's wing. The enharmonic current of this triple stream, Keely thinks, carries with it the power of propulsion that induces disturbance of negative equilibrium; which disturbance is essential to the co-ordination of its flow, in completing the triune stream of electricity. When this fluid is discharged from the clouds, each triplet or third seeks its terrestrial concordant, there to remain until that supreme law which governs disturbance of equilibrium again induces sympathetic concordant concentration, continuing to pass through its evolutions, positively and negatively, until the solar forces are expended." [Keelys Contributions to Science]
Globular lightning, in the form of balls of fire, which move slowly along and then burst with a sudden explosion. This form is very rare, but must be admitted as a real phenomenon, though some of the accounts of it are greatly exaggerated. Similar phenomenon on a smaller scale have been produced (though usually accidentally) with electrical apparatus. [Thompson, Silvanus P.; Elementary Lessons in Electricity & Magnetism; The MacMillan Company, NY, 1899]
Sheet lightning, in which whole surfaces are lit up at once, is probably only the reflexion on the clouds of a flash taking place at some other part of the sky. It is often seen on the horizon at night, reflected from a storm too far away to produce audible thunder, and is then known as "summer lightning". [Thompson, Silvanus P.; Elementary Lessons in Electricity & Magnetism; The MacMillan Company, NY, 1899]
The Zig-zag flash or Forked Lightning of ordinary occurrence. The zig-zag form is probably due either to the presence of solid particles in the air or to local electrification at certain points, making the crooked path the one of least resistance. [Thompson, Silvanus P.; Elementary Lessons in Electricity & Magnetism; The MacMillan Company, NY, 1899]
At the University of Florida Lightning Research facilities, copper wires are attached to rockets and fired into thunderstorms. The conductive path is created to ground by the copper wire causing a lightning discharge at that location and vaporizes the copper wire. When multiple rocket launches are performed in unison, a Jacobs Ladder effect is observed.