Is lightning white due to moving electrons or nearby nitrogen,oxigen and water vapour atoms and can a simple lighter spark glow white?


I'll assume you're talking about eletric lighters.

In both cases the air ionizes and what you see is a plasma. Now the color blue/purple makes sense for the energy and the oxygen/nitrogen.

Can it be white, that's a bit more difficult to answer. Let's start with why lightning is white, Lightning is also a plasma and white doesn't make that much sense based on the air composition. It's white because of the extremely high temperature/energy density and it's especially white when there's low air humidity (less contamination, higher temp). It's not actually white, it actually radiates all colors in the visible spectrum that humans than perceive as white (similar to blackbody radiation). This video, https://youtu.be/VXm3zDM_v80 actually shows the spectrum and the actually color of lightning simultaneously, the ball on the left is the actual color, and the spectrum/line on the right is the lightning split up over the different colors in the visible spectrum.

So can a lighter give a white plasma spark, questionable, I don't know what temperature you would exactly need to reach white and thus this temperature/energy-density might be unreasonable to achieve in a simple lighter.

Some more indications as what the colors (tinged) of lightning usually indicate. https://www.wfmz.com/news/what-color-is-lightning/article_b65b63c8-7cd1-56d0-b909-88ac635edc8b.html

This scientific paper actually tries to estimate the temperature of ligthning based on the plasma generated https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320656562_Calculating_the_electron_temperature_in_the_lightning_channel_by_continuous_spectrum Peak temperature is about 25 000K (Kelvin or Celsius doesn't matter much at those temperatures). For Refercence, the SURFACE of the sun is about 5500K to 6000K

If you want to see some (crazy) smart guy generate white plasma (and other colors) https://youtu.be/UNisqZOAaAs

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  • $\begingroup$ But is white radiation emitting body cooler than a blue one... as I anderstood Your answer should a lightning be blue/violet due to a so high temperature? $\endgroup$ – Krešimir Bradvica Aug 7 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ It's emitting, all colors at once, so red to green, to blue to violet. However since it's so much light, your eyes will see it as white. Sunligth also emits the entire spectrum, but you also perceive it as white light. Screen (tv/phone) also make white by emitting red, green and blue light at the same time. Usually the whiter the light and more intense, the hotter the source, at least for black body radiation. Plasma has some line colors but for these cases that shouldn't matter too much and it will also be washed out by the white so you won't see it usually at high energy/temperatures. $\endgroup$ – Bob van de Voort Aug 7 at 16:00
  • $\begingroup$ Talking about sunlight, Sun temperature is 6000 K but all hotter stars emit blue/violet. Why do You think lightning should be white due to temperatures that cause UV, rendgen, violet and blue emitions? A gas tourch as you add oxigen to increase the temperature starts to glow red then yellow, white and finaly blue? $\endgroup$ – Krešimir Bradvica Aug 7 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ Look up scientific literature dude and read up how black body radiation and light works. White light from the sun also contains violet and blue light, you just experience it as white. Same with hotter stars. However stars that are very far away get red shifted. If you are going to make these kinds of things provide proper sources. Did you even read my entire post and the sources I provided? $\endgroup$ – Bob van de Voort Aug 9 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ Are all red and blue stars red or blue only due to redshift or also due to surface temperature? $\endgroup$ – Krešimir Bradvica Aug 9 at 14:15

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