Electric Honeycomb

A 17-year-old high school student in Pakistan replicated a physics visualization, and developed results that surprised some older scientists.

In simple terms, an electric honeycomb is formed when certain kinds of electrically charged particles travel between a pointy electrode and a flat one, but in the transmission, they bump into a puddle of oil along the way.

The resultant shape of this bumpy ride is a polygonal pattern, what some physicists also call the rose-window instability because it resembles the circular, stained-glass designs found in Gothic churches. It’s what happens as natural forces work to keep an electric charge moving in an interrupted circuit.

But why is it so intriguing that a bizarre shape pops up? The mystery behind the pattern is that natural forces work to keep an electric charge moving in an interrupted circuit.

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