Yes, artist Ben Hickman actually captures real 2.2-million-volt lightning bolts inside clear acrylic blocks. To create thee beautiful sculptures, he rents “beam time on a 5 million volt particle accelerator and as the accelerator injects huge numbers of electrons inside a clear acrylic plastic specimen, a huge electrical charge (typically 1 – 2.5 million volts) builds inside.” Continue reading for a video, more pictures, and additional information.

Video

Explaining how the whole Captured Lightning art project began, Hickman explains on his site: “We were intrigued by the incredible beauty and the physics of Lichtenberg Figures but we were continually frustrated by their scarcity. A group of fellow “Spark Whisperers” (physicists and electrical engineers) decided to conduct independent research into the theory and technique of producing them.”

Pictures

[Sources 1 | 2]