In a recent Hunger Games movie, there's a scene where a certain scientist says that he invented a wire which will not melt under the current of a lightning. Is that even possible?

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    $\begingroup$ I wouldn't be surprised to hear that someone is working on a room temperature superconducting lightning rod made from graphene (or some other exotic material) in the not too distant future - which I assume ought to be able to carry the current with zero resistance/heat. $\endgroup$ – dav1dsm1th Dec 1 '13 at 20:59
  • $\begingroup$ This question appears to be off-topic because it is about Technological Fiction. $\endgroup$ – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Dec 2 '13 at 5:25
  • $\begingroup$ @DIMension10 it's a theoretical question. I don't know how you inferred that I was asking about the fictional invention from "Is that even possible". $\endgroup$ – user1306322 Dec 2 '13 at 7:24

Sure, many tall buildings are hit by lightning several times per year. It would be quite expensive to replace the cables each time. It has to withstand currents in the range between 10kA and 100kA for a few milliseconds. A copper wire with a diameter of several centimeters will survive lightning easily.

A thin wire on the other hand is usually vaporized as the Joule heating and low heat capacity combined is too much for the material, even though the current is flowing only for milliseconds. A superconductor will not help significantly here as it still has a non-zero resistance for AC, that is changing, currents.


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