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-2
votes
1answer
51 views

What state of matter is thunder? [on hold]

I know of solid, liquid and gaseous states of matter but what state of matter is thunder? Is it gas, liquid or solid?
-2
votes
0answers
56 views

How to Calculate the Distance from Lightning? [on hold]

It is a dark and stormy night, when suddenly you see a flash of light. Three and a half second later you hear the thunder. Given that the speed of sound in air is about 340 m/s, how far away was the ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Is illuminance defined only on a surface normal to the flux?

Assuming on the below image the source is a point source, I can understand that since the light flux falls on dA is the same within the solid angle and since the intensity I = Φ/dω and E = Φ/dA it can ...
1
vote
2answers
34 views

Electric charge difference weapon? [closed]

We all know how lightning works: The clouds have a strong static charge and release that charge towards the ground. But could it be used as a weapon? Would a weapon of the following description work? ...
17
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
353 views

Lightning Conductor Working

During a thunderstorm charges collect on clouds until a field which is more than the air's dielectric strength is created. Because now there is a potential difference between the ground (0 Volts) and ...
10
votes
5answers
24k views

Why should you 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
37 views

Lightning sprites

Lightning usually occurs due to an electrostatic discharge between an electrically-charged cloud and the Earth's surface, or between clouds. There are also sprites, electrical discharges that occur ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Why lightning most likely occure in night?

This is a question based on my experience. I am not going to prove that lightning (succeed by thunder) never occure in day, but it seems it most likely occure in night. May the humidity of air become ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Laser-induced electrical discharge

Attracting lightning with an ion beam has been done in a lab but how strong of a laser is needed to reach the clouds to redirect the lightning bolt?
5
votes
5answers
12k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
59 views

Attracting lightning with an ion beam

Can an ion beam be strong enough to create a path for lightning to travel to the ion machine? This is what I found in a lab that may help: An ionization factor jτi (the product of electron beam ...
30
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Atoms Inside a Lightning Bolt

What happens to atoms trapped in lightning? Why do electrons not split an atom but can change them inside the bolt? Can atoms travel on a bolt?
3
votes
1answer
141 views

Electricity from lightning

According to the internet, a lightning strike contains about 5 billion joules or 5 GJ. How was this calculated? Another thing: Once the lightning strike a metal grounded rod, a current will flow. ...
2
votes
0answers
101 views

How does lightning flip a car?

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/car-flips-into-air-after-being-struck-by-lightning-in-freak-electrical-storm-accident-10366208.html and a few others ...
1
vote
2answers
397 views

Is it possible to calculate the energy of a spark?

I am not a physicist, but this question came to me and I need to answer it, and I think that you guys can help me. Is it possible to calculate the energy in a spark? For example in a lighter with ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

Explanation to the flow of charge

I came across a really cool Cymatics video: There is one part in the video which is unclear to me. Please refer to the snapshot below taken at 05:15. I see the equipment being close to a Van de ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Does rubber insulate lightning more effectively than air?

Last week, an Ars Technica writer was struck by lightning. He says that the 911 operators were concerned about whether or not he was wearing shoes at the time, but he didn't think it would make much ...
5
votes
1answer
83 views

Does a Tesla coil work in space?

If I took a Tesla coil into space, and then turned it on near, but not touching metal objects- would charge jump to the metal objects? It's my understanding I wouldn't see a flash, since the lightning ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do lightning rods have a sharp point at the top?

We know that a lightning rod or lightning conductor is a metal rod or metallic object mounted on top of an elevated structure and, if we look closely, most of them have a sharp point at the top. What ...
1
vote
3answers
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. ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

What happens when a lightning rod is not earthed?

A Lightning rod is fixed to the building and it is not given earthing then what happens? How does the lightning reach the ground through the building?
2
votes
2answers
95 views

Is wearing metal armor during lightning safe?

I recently saw in a television show that wearing a metal armor during lightning is good because metal provides the path of least resistance for electricity to flow to the ground. Now my question is,is ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Does lightning have mass?

My chemistry teacher/book states that lightning is just light, and therefore has no mass and takes up no space (we're not very far through the book yet, it's defining matter). However, I take issue ...
1
vote
1answer
222 views

What will be effects of harnessing lightning?

In Feynman's Lectures, volume 2, chapter 9, there is a mention of earth getting charged by thunderstorm lightning. It is the thunderstorms throughout the world that are charging the earth with an ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Why do nuclear bomb explosions create an array of visible electric discharges in the form of lightening in the upper atmosphere?

I've seen videos on the internet, showing nuclear bomb test explosions, and there appears to be a large amount of visible lightening discharging numerous times over the development of the mushroom ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

lightning and LTE modem

I have heard that lightning likes to hit to a person who is talking to the cell phone. Is it the same for LTE(4g) modem which is used only for the internet. I mean will my home be more attractive ...
0
votes
3answers
225 views

Lightning Power?

What is the power source of a lightning? It doesn't consume fuel, nor an atomic fission/fusion, but it discharges a large amount of energy. Is it feasible to create an artificial lightning using the ...
2
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
7k views
8
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views
1
vote
1answer
127 views

Can lightning actually weld fillings in your teeth?

So, I remember sometime in my childhood, someone was teaching me about lightning safety, and they explained that it was important to crouch low but keep as little contact with the ground as possible, ...
13
votes
3answers
258 views

Why does lightning generate multiple branches?

Everyone have seen and knows how lightning occurs. But then I realized that lightning never occurs in straight lines but it follows branching. But Why is that so? Why can't lightning goes in straight ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

Is it dangerous to use the water tap/bathe/shower during a thunderstorm?

As the title says, is there any danger in touching the water tap or sitting in a bath tub etc. inside the house during a thunderstorm? I heard that it is dangerous, as the lightning could hit some ...
0
votes
2answers
181 views

What will happen when lightning strikes on the surface of the deep sea?

The lightning is having enormous amount of energy, as it strikes the ground it makes various electrical and magnetic effects. If the lightning strikes a tree, that will be burst by lightning. ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

Why is lightning considered a plasma?

I was wondering why a lightning bolt is coined as "plasma", or a "spark" from an electrical wire/device is as well, yet flares, molten lava, and burning buildings are not(flares are pyrotechnic, ...
0
votes
0answers
78 views

Does lightning have a thickness?

We have calculated (probably measured) the speed, temperature and voltage of lightning so does lightning have a thickness? Note: When a lightning occur it heats up the air rapidly causing the air to ...
0
votes
0answers
117 views

Does a lightning strike have a physical weight?

A lot seems to be unknown about lightning and it is possibly a source of dark energy at the instance of the strike. So if we were to place say a 10kg lightning rod (earthed) on a set of insulated ...
6
votes
3answers
217 views

What would it take to cause lightning to jump between the Moon and the Earth?

This question comes from @Floris' speculation at the end of his excellent answer about what it would take to kill everyone on the Earth with electricity. Doing all this in 1/10th of a second ...
0
votes
2answers
146 views

Is lightning an example of energy emision from accelerated charge?

I have always heard that the inconsistency in explaining atomic models with classical mechanics was that the study of electrical charges had shown that whenever a charge is accelerated, it emits light ...
6
votes
4answers
20k 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?
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Do high voltage power lines attract lightning strikes?

I always thought that high voltage power lines would attract a lightning strike more than other structures in the same area. Turns out I was wrong. My neighbor's chimney got struck by lightning and it ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is the shape of lightning or an electric spark a zig-zag line?

Why is the shape of the lightning (or an electric spark) always of a zig-zag nature? Why is it never just a straight line? Image source.
0
votes
4answers
147 views

On what basis is it said that lightning does not strike the same place twice?

Why is it that atmospheric lightning cannot strike twice in the same place? I have heard this several times before, and recently I watched the movie "War of The Worlds", where the character played by ...
3
votes
2answers
59 views

Antenna to characterise lightning

what is the power spectrum and frequency spectrum of lightning. Can we calculate the Wattage in a lightning storm, can we draw useful power from it. I would like to build an antenna and receiver to ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

Ball lightning: How are they formed?

Ball lightning: How are they formed? According to some Chinese researchers: These strange balls of electricity are seen during intense thunderstorms as glowing orbs. They can be yellow, white, ...
7
votes
3answers
8k 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.
5
votes
1answer
394 views

Why some thunders sound deeper while others sound snappier?

Why does some thunder sound deeper and lower in pitch while others sound snappier and higher in pitch? I don't think there should be any difference between the lightnings and so the thunders sound be ...