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Questions tagged [lightning]

The tag has no usage guidance, but it has a tag wiki.

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What portion of the energy carried by lightning is lost as ionization, heat, light, sound and other phenomena before it hits the ground?

What portion of the energy carried by lightning is lost as heat, light and sound, by ionizing the atmosphere or to other phenomena the space between its source and the ground? How does it vary ...
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0answers
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What is the cause of positive and negative lightning strikes differences? [closed]

I have a question about lightning. They say positive lightning is most dangerous and it is made at the top of the cloud. I have done some research and I want to know if I have the facts right and ...
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0answers
44 views

Lightning in space, would it be a perfectly straight line?

I have read this question: Can lightning happen in a vacuum? I do understand that here on Earth lightning consists of electrons moving in space and some of these electrons are tracing path, and ...
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2answers
82 views

What causes the color difference of lightning flashes?

Some flashes of lightning are seen in a blue shade while some have a yellowish/orange appearance .What is the possible cause of colour difference?
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4answers
3k views

What causes the direction of lightning flashes?

During a lightning strike, the flashes appear as cloud to ground or cloud to cloud. Why is this the only manner of propagation? Why do the flashes not go upwards from the clouds into the sky?
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1answer
32 views

Can we replicate the sound of thunder with just the lightning?

Scientists are able to extract sound of a two black holes merging from the data they collected without actually hearing it, but we don't know how it actually sounds, that's just a representation of ...
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1answer
55 views

Do electrons in a flash of lightning oscillate between Earth and the clouds (or between clouds)?

In this video, around 2:24, one can see a flash of lightning that keeps the same form for a little time span. Does this mean that it takes a while before the discharge is complete (which I can't ...
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1answer
33 views

What could cause a small shock from an umbrella being held near a light strike?

I was just outside holding an umbrella when lightning struck very close by. In the instant it struck, I saw and felt a little shock from the shaft of the umbrella into my thumb. It felt quite small.. ...
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1answer
63 views

Electricity and light bulbs [closed]

Kindly say if I am right? Case1: Current flow and light from an incandescent bulb. Reason for light due to current flow: Tungsten is an insulator (comparatively) so when sufficiently high ...
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1answer
38 views

Why and how fast does lightning propagate?

While looking at this youtube video of lightning in 1000 fps I was somewhat surprised that such a frame rate is enough to capture the propagation of lightning. I have no clue about photography of ...
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0answers
35 views

How do scientists determine the width a thunderbolt?

As I searched on the internet, I found a website stating that the width of a typical lightening strike is $2.5~$cm wide and $8$ km long. I intuitively understand that scientists can measure the length ...
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1answer
66 views

What would happen if lightning struck a salt deposit?

I'm not familiar with the formulae involved in lightning discharge, so please bear with me here. As far as I'm aware, lightning (that is, cloud-to-ground lightning) tends to do one of three things, ...
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1answer
55 views

Can lightning bend metal?

If lightning strikes a metal pole, will it bend because of the force exerted by Earth's magnetic field on the current?
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1answer
28 views

Why is the inductance of ionized air similar to inductance of wire?

Why is inductance of wire which is about 1 microHenry per meter similar to the inductance of air broken down by lightning (where the high voltage of a lightning strike breaks air down and it becomes a ...
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1answer
35 views

How do lightnings have matter but light doesn’t?

if lightning is plasma which is a state of matter that means that lightnings have matter. but light is electromagnetic radiation and doesn’t have matter? can someone please explain? thanks
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3answers
42 views

Can a lightning which doesnt make light be made?

I was wondering if there is a way to make a lightning (lab lightning, nothing as chaotic as the real thing) that doesnt eject any electromagnetic waves? For example: How would a strong negative magnet ...
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1answer
35 views

For a building on a slope, should the earthed (grounded) lightning protection be downhill or uphill from the structure? [closed]

Would it be best to place the earth protection (the copper spike) for a building on a slope downhill (A) or uphill (B) from the structure? Assume that lightning is most likely to strike at (C), the ...
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0answers
43 views

Do Multiple Localized Turns In a Helical Lightning Path Collapse To a Toroidal Plasma?

Lightning carries around 25,000A of current, so if the conductive path has kinks in it, the magnetic force on the plasma will be rather large and tend to produce a kink instability. The duration of a ...
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2answers
80 views

How large of a capacitor is needed to hold 5,000,000,000 J? [closed]

Given today's technology, what size of capacitor (in farads and physical size) would be required to hold 5,000,000,000 J of energy, the estimate for the amount of energy in the average lightning bolt?
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4answers
377 views

Car hit by a lightning strike

In Griffiths' Introduction to Electrodynamics, at the Electrostatics chapter, in particular, in the conductors section, he says this after the stating that within an empty cavity surrounded by a ...
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1answer
52 views

How do bulk regions of clouds conduct charges into a lightning bolt?

It's easy to find explanations of the theories of charge accumulation in clouds during storms, as well as ones describing suspected processes leading to lightning channel formation. What I have yet to ...
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3answers
1k views

Is it possible for a lightning strike to hit the ground if there are high rise buildings nearby?

Say we have pointed conductors connected to the top of the high rise buildings. Will the strikes hit the nearby ground in such a case?
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2answers
104 views

Does lightning have pressure?

Hi do lightning have pressure if yes what is it ? Nikola tesla has invented the artificial lightning so can we make it ?
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3answers
1k views

What determines the shape of lightning? [duplicate]

Everyone's seen lightning streaks, either in real life or in pictures and videos. My question is, why does it look the way it does? Does lightning spread in a random manner, or is there physics ...
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1answer
36 views

Reference frame(s) for return stroke of lightning bolts

A lightning bolt consists of two processes, one of them is slow -- the forward stroke, the other occurs at around a third of the speed of light $c$. Each little part of the lightning bolt looks kind ...
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1answer
70 views

Lightning strike on aircraft

Is an electromagnetic pulse sufficient to account for the complete dscharge of an aircraft struck by lightning?
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0answers
46 views

Why does Lightning have branches? [duplicate]

Why does lightning have branches? A straight line from the clouds to the ground should be the path of least resistance, then why does it branch out? If it is because of different gases present in air ...
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2answers
145 views

Why photon and electrons travel at same speed in thunder

They say light travels faster than sound. Lightning is just electrons, right? Then why are both electrons and photons traveling at the same speed when thunder storms occur?
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2answers
170 views

Is the speed of sound constant?

I was looking at lightning, and started to wonder if the speed of the thunder slowed down as it lost energy traveling far distances. I know the amplitude of sound decreases, perceived as volume. Im ...
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2answers
37 views

Lightning vs series of resistors

So I was wondering if, theoretically, can a series of resistors kill off lightning current or make it low enough to sustain a battery?
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1answer
152 views

Why sound is produced during lightning? [duplicate]

During lightning ,both light and sound is produced . I want to know why light and sound is produced?
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2answers
141 views

Is lightening a form of alternating or direct current? [closed]

Is lightening a form of alternating or direct current? I have no idea about this, so help me.
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2answers
231 views

Spark Length in Air vs. DC Voltage

How can I calculate the potential difference (in DC) needed to create an electric spark of a specific length (between 0-5mm) in air? The sparks are observed between 2.5cm metal spheres. Is there a ...
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3answers
5k views

Tree vs lightning rod: why does one burn and the other not?

I have this simple question, but I cannot find the answer. I saw this video about a plane getting hit by lightning. In it, Captain Joe explains why people do not get electrocuted. This has a simple ...
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2answers
75 views

Why do many animals die at the same time when lighting hits surroundings?

I have been reading about many cases in history of lighting striking and killing dozens even hundreds of animals, to be more specific quadruples, at the same time. Apparently this doesn't happen with ...
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2answers
633 views

Lightning on Burj Khalifa

Does Burj Khalifa, being the tallest building and the best route for lightning, experience most lightning? I suppose lightning in a radius around Burj Khalifa would only fall on it and nowhere else. ...
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2answers
146 views

Does the lumen value of a light bulb take into account the inverse square law and volume of a room?

For example, I am trying to calculate the number of 800lm light bulbs required to light a 16sq meter bed room with a 2.5m celling that doubles as a study. Assuming 75 lux is required, this converts to ...
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1answer
1k views

How do electrons move in a lightning strike? [duplicate]

I know that a common lightning strike is an electric current and I believe air has high electrical resistance comparatively, detail is not important however I think friction caused a build up of ...
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3answers
2k views

Can Special Relativity hold even without motion?

I am having a bit of confusion, let us say there are two observers observing two simultaneous lightning strikes with a finite distance between them. Now one observer is located such that he is in ...
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1answer
74 views

Is a lightening strike deterministic?

This relates to a previous question: Is a dice roll deterministic? Essentially, I'm trying to get a better understanding of how quantum indeterminacy interacts with the macro world. It seems to me ...
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2answers
436 views

How much power in a lightning strike?

The Biblical story of 1 Kings 18:20-40 relates how a lightning strike ignited a bulls carcass, as well as a wood pyre, both of which had been thoroughly wetted with abundant water. Is there enough ...
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1answer
215 views

Is wearing an insulated metal armor against a lightning safe?

Related: Is wearing metal armor during lightning safe? only partially answer my question. During a discussion in my question in Worldbuilding, this answer explain that as long as the metal armor is ...
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1answer
552 views

Noise heard simultaneously with lightning

During a recent thunderstorm in an urban area, I saw lightning strike within about half a mile, estimated as such because I heard the thunder about 2 seconds after I saw the strike. What surprised me ...
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2answers
3k views

At what temperature do the laws of physics break down?

I heard that as approaching the temperature of a kugelblitz the laws of physics break down, I saw this in the video The Kugelblitz: A Black Hole Made From Light, by SciSchow Space.
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1answer
143 views

Lightning plasma density

According to [1], the plasma produced by lightning has a temperature ~ 28,000 K, and an electron density ~ $10^{24} / \rm m^3$. What is the density of the plasma in $\rm kg / m^3$? [1] https://www....
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1answer
36 views

Electric charges

It is known that why we see a small bit of lightning or an electrostatic shock is when placing a negatively charged conductor to a neutral conductor, isn't it? My question is why do feel hurt or ...
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1answer
643 views

What is 'arcing' at switch contacts in LR circuits when current changes instantaneously?

I am studying from Neil Storey's Electronics book and I can't understand the following paragraph: "We know that the current stabilises at a value of V/R. If the switch is now opened, this would ...
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1answer
85 views

lightning ground rod

I have a quick question about lightning ground rods. We had a Kohler generator large enough to power most of the house installed for my 82 year old mother. The installer ran the line connecting it to ...
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1answer
57 views

How is the current of a lightning strike traveling a few times through the same channel?

Look at this video: Lightning travelling through the same channel It's clearly visible that some lightning strikes travel through the same channel more than once because the path has the less ...
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2answers
1k views

Could you use magnetic fields to direct a bolt of lightning?

Would it be possible to direct the flow of electrons in a lightning bolt in a certain direction, using magnetic fields? Furthermore, would it be possible to direct the lightning in a long straight ...