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ESP Biography



BRANT CARLSON, Physics grad student




Major: Physics

College/Employer: Stanford University

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Brant Carlson

Brief Biographical Sketch:

First off, I'm a big physics enthusiast. Though I've always wanted the toys to go with it (Tesla coils, plasma chambers, etc), it's more than that: it even amazes me that when I throw something up in the air it always comes back down. Think about that for a minute... From paper airplanes to cell phones, from laser printers to pop rocks, there's no shortage of weird and fun physics out there, and I love to share that fun with other people.

As for the boring details, I'm a Stanford physics graduate student. My research focuses on the physics that happens between the surface of the Earth on up to a few thousand miles up, including the atmosphere, storms, the "ignorosphere", and low Earth orbit. My job is to figure out the sorts of electrical things that can happen there, from ripples in the atmosphere to 100-mile-long lightning bolts.



Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

S467: Lightning in Splash! Fall 2009 (Oct. 10 - 11, 2009)
Did you know there are about 50 lightning strikes on Earth every second? That the most powerful lightning in the world is in Kansas? How does a big cloud of water vapor do that?… What actually happens in lightning is very intricate and ranges from the very small sparks that start everything off to the tree-branch structures we see in the sky to the hot channels (hotter than the sun!) that make thunder. This course will talk about Lightning, how, why, and when it happens, and what it can do. We’ll even do some experiments that may shock you - that is, if you want to be shocked.


S319: Lightning in Splash! Spring 2009 (Apr. 04 - 05, 2009)
Did you know there are over 100 lightning strikes on Earth every second? That the most powerful lightning in the world is in Kansas? How does a big clouds of water vapor do that?... What actually happens in lightning is very intricate and ranges from the very small sparks that start everything off to the tree-branch structures we see in the sky to the hot channels (hotter than the sun!) that make thunder. This course will talk about Lightning, how, why, and when it happens, and what it can do. We'll even do some experiments that may shock you - that is, if you want to be shocked.