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An electrifying breakthrough by the team headed up by Professor Roberto Morandotti

January 7, 2016 | Gisèle Bolduc

Update : November 19, 2020

The use of lasers to guide an electrical discharge around obstacles: this breakthrough by Professor Roberto Morandotti and his team made Québec Science magazine’s list of the ten biggest discoveries in 2015. In fact, the physicist who has tamed short-lived lightening bolts is featured on the front page of the January/February issue.

This scientific first, accomplished at the INRS Centre Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications’s Advanced Laser Light Source, paves the way for innovative applications in micromachining, pollution control, and electronic jamming. 

The electrifying breakthrough has sparked considerable interest on the part of the international scientific community, which has always dreamed of controlling the trajectory of lightning bolts. It also caught the attention of prestigious media such as ScienceLe Monde, and the Daily Mail, to name a few.

Professor Morandotti’s research findings were published in the June 2015 issue of Science Advances in the article “Laser-assisted guiding of electric discharges around objects.” Researchers Matteo Clerici, Yi Hu, Philippe Lassonde, Carles Milián, Arnaud Couairon, Demetrios N. Chrisodoulides, Zhigang Chen, Luca Razzari, François Vidal, François Légaré, Daniele Faccio, and Roberto Morandotti are the authors of the article. 

2015 Discovery of the Year: People’s Choice Award

Québec Science is again inviting the public to vote on which of the 10 jury panel selections is the biggest discovery of the year. The People’s Choice Award will go to the discovery that receives the most votes by February 18, 2016. Vote at

Supplement : video Can Humans Control Lightning?