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21
votes
4answers
604 views

Why is lightning more rare during snow storms than rain storms?

Lightning and thunder during a snow storm is uncommon. As far as I know, more uncommon than during a typical rain storm. Why is this? I speculate it might be one, or both, of the following two ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Electric field inside and outside a metallic hollow sphere

1) It is known that inside a metallic hollow sphere it will not experience outside electric field because of the charge separation of electrons and holes at the surface of sphere and creating an equal ...
14
votes
3answers
6k views

Does Fire Conduct Electricity? Why?

Recently, I have stumbled upon a YouTube video by Veritasium describing the conductivity of fire. My question is: how exactly does fire conduct electricity? I am a high school student; therefore ...
4
votes
4answers
14k views

Can Gases conduct Electricity?

Liquid electrolytes ionize and hence a current can pass through them. So if a gas can ionize, can it conduct electricity too? If so, what are a few such gases?
0
votes
3answers
663 views

Is there a way to save electricity from lightning? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can the lightning be captured and used as power source? Each lightning contains several kilo volts of electricity. Saving them could be a boon to soaring need of it. Is ...
3
votes
2answers
225 views

Loopy lightning

What causes lightning to follow the path it does ? picture from BBC news: http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/62891000/jpg/_62891901_untitled-1copy.jpg main page: ...
2
votes
3answers
999 views

is lightning attracted to pointy objects?

Advice I was given when growing up: in a thunderstorm, stay away from tall, pointy things. It's pretty obvious why lightning would prefer to strike tall objects, but pointy ones? Is there any truth ...
5
votes
5answers
10k views

Can the lightning be captured and used as power source?

I would like to update my knowledge in this area, that is really out-of-dated and stopped somewhere like ten years ago. I asked the very same question on my physics lecture at my studies and got the ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Voltage and current of positive lightning

For a physics issues investigation I chose to investigate what effects lightning could have on an aeroplane while in flight if it was struck and then go on to discuss some possible implications of ...
29
votes
1answer
1k views

Can lightning be used to solve NP-complete problems?

I'm a MS/BS computer science guy who is wondering about why lightning can't (or can?) be used to solve NP complete problems efficiently, but I don't understand the physics behind lightning, so I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
10k views

Is there any significance to 1.21 GW?

In connection with a related question on Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange page: does this number 1.21 GW make any sense? What is 1.21 GWatts? With what can you compare it? Can the ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Can energy be extracted from clouds?

Can cloud charge imbalance be used as an energy source? First off quite some energy must be present in clouds: a lightning path is quite long, and electrical breakdown of air requires about 1MV/m. ...
5
votes
1answer
38k views

How much energy is in a lightning strike?

According to Wikipedia an average lightning has 1TW, the whole world used 16TW in 2006. (I suppose this means the same as 16TWh in one year?) Sometimes the lightning reaches 100kA. This peak last for ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Tying knots in power cables to prevent power surge from lightning strikes

There are plenty of references to this claim on the internet that tying knots in power cables will prevent a piece of equipment e.g. television or computer from a power surge. How can this be ...
5
votes
1answer
213 views

Phyics Explanation for the Tubular Shape of Petrified Lightning

When lightning strikes the ground in a sandy location it may fuze sand grains together to form a mineraloid known as Fulgurite. Is there a physics explanation for the tubular shape? Why is it hollow ...
4
votes
1answer
286 views

Why is it that when driving in a car, and a lightning bolt strikes, my AM radio gets cut off for a while, but FM stays on?

I noticed this one day, a lightning/thunder occurred and my Fabulosa Spanish music died for a second. But not FM?
9
votes
5answers
20k views

Why stay in the car during thunderstorms?

So there appears to be quite a bit of misinformation on the web as to why people should stay in their cars during a thunderstorm. So I'd like to clear some things up. One such non-nonsensical answer ...
4
votes
2answers
556 views

Algorithm of Lightning Strikes? [duplicate]

Given an array of charge for a given area (2D or 3D), what algorithm would describe the path that lightning takes? An example algorithm would be from the highest charge of the cloud, find the lowest ...
1
vote
0answers
181 views

Can the lightning be scattered with out hitting the ground? [closed]

Can we scatter the lightning before it hits the ground?Can we scatter the lightning by connecting many wires to a lightning rod?
9
votes
3answers
434 views

Extended sound of thunder

Why does the sound of thunder last several seconds even when lightning lasts for only fraction of a second?
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Lightning and nuclear fusion

I'm going to be brief, I just saw a Discovery Channel show that showed a lot of interesting phenomena around lightning (like elves, how cool is that(!)), and got me wondering. 1) Thinking of ...
1
vote
2answers
422 views

A lightning protection device physics

Here is a description of the principle of the operation of a new lightning device: During a storm the ambient electric field may rise to between 10 to 20 kV/m. As soon as the field exceeds a thresold ...
5
votes
1answer
382 views

Why are cold thunderstorms rare?

FYI: I imagine the physics of thunderstorms involves wind stripping electrons from condensed water cells (raindrops or snowflakes). Like a Van De Graaff generator, sort of; I'm also using Wilson's ...
1
vote
0answers
101 views

Why is it that using cell phone can invite lighting strike? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it safe to use any wireless device during a lightning storm? We often hear the tale that a person gets stuck by lighting when he is unfortunate enough to use a cell ...
7
votes
3answers
6k views

Is it safe to use any wireless device during a lightning storm?

I need "educated" reasons whether it is safe to use any wireless device during a lightning storm. Most people said don't use it but they cannot explain why.
26
votes
6answers
19k views

Lightning strikes the Ocean I'm swimming in - what happens?

I'm swimming in the ocean and there's a thunderstorm. Lightning bolts hit ships around me. Should I get out of the water?