A Lichtenberg figure (German Lichtenberg-Figuren), or Lichtenberg dust figure, is a branching electric discharge that sometimes appears on the surface or in the interior of insulating materials. Lichtenberg figures are often associated with the progressive deterioration of high voltage components and equipment. The study of planar Lichtenberg figures along insulating surfaces and 3D electrical trees within insulating materials often provides engineers with valuable insights for improving the long-term reliability of high-voltage equipment. Lichtenberg figures are now known to occur on or within solids, liquids, and gases during electrical breakdown.
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