23

I'm not an expert, but I spent some time with references 1 and 2 several years ago. This answer is based on some notes I took. Measurements using the radio waves produced by lightning indicate that lightning bolts inside thunderclouds (the ones that we can't see directly) are often mostly horizontal, and they can be anywhere from 1/2 km in length to 20 km in ...


7

Air is not a dispersive medium for sound waves. At least, in normal condition. When a lightning is produced, the air is heated up to a very high temperature, creating a shock wave like. The sound heard depends on the position of the observer, far way or near the thunder origin, and the shape and direction of the thunderbolt. Lightning can be cloud to cloud ...


6

Although I am not a thunderstorm expert either, my guess would be, that the reflections of the soundwaves between the atmosphere/clouds and/or ground are responsible for the delay of the low frequencies. If a planar waveguide is formed between either layers of clouds or clouds/atmosphere vs. ground, the waves would be forced to move in planar directions only....


4

You don't have to wait for the flash to get hit. However, the flash occurs so astonishingly close to getting hit that no biological system is going to be able to distinguish them. The flash is an effect caused by the flow of electrons, heating the air. If there are no electrons flowing, there's nothing heating the air, but also no electrical "hit.&...


4

Each time lightning strikes the ground, a huge electrical current surge flows through the ground in the vicinity of the strike. If there are any power lines, transformers, or power distribution switchgear in the immediate vicinity of the strike, it is possible for that current surge to upset the equipment even though none of the wires, etc. were directly hit ...


3

To enlarge slightly upon DKNguyen's answer: Indeed, the thing that causes air to break down is the strength of the electric field in the gap between the switch terminals, as measured in volts per meter. For small values of the gap, even a small number of volts will produce a strong field. Furthermore, if there are any sharp points or asperities on the ...


3

I assume you're asking about a mechanical switch and not a solid-state switch. Yes, there is a spark when you flip a mechanical switch closed because doesn't just close cleanly. It closes, then bounces open, then closed, then bounces open, etc. until it finally stays closed. The voltage producing the arc is not the voltage from the supply. It is the voltage ...


2

With proper measuring instruments, it can be done as follows. First the setup...... We are going to need two parallel metallic plates (just like a parallel plate capacitor). Then we need to connect a high voltage DC supply across these two plates. The magnitude of voltage should be adjustable and the maximum magnitude of voltage across the plates should be ...


2

Lightning comes from A charge imbalance caused by disturbance in the clouds. As a negative charge builds up in the cloud it can move toward the ground but it’s a positive charge from the ground that reaches up going to the cloud. This can also happen from cloud to cloud.


1

Lightning occurs as a result of huge potential difference between earths surface and the clouds. The potential difference is so high that electrons from the cloud manage to break the dielectric(air) and reach ground causing Lightning.


1

i'm not sure if it would be possible to have a capacitor that powerful to make a gamma ray. Gamma rays re produced in interactions of elementary and charged quantum mechanically described particles. A capacitor is a system where an electric field is induced in the space between plates. There are no high energy interactions in a charged capacitor. If a ...


1

Lightning generally initiates within a cloud or similar structure, due to charge buildup on its various constituents. Many lightning bolts pass harmlessly across the sky. The ground-sky static field can augment the local field and draw the leader downwards until it meets the ground. Rain has little effect. Consider scattering iron filings loosely on a sheet ...


1

I believe the initial "sound" of the lightning is likely to be close to an idealized impulse: an extremely large and sudden pressure differential. Next, you have all of the things mentioned so far: the general properties of sound through air, the boundaries imposed by the ground and different layers of that air, etc. The sum of all these at that ...


1

A positive cloud overhead will attract electrons and cause a significant build up of negative charge in the ground (or water) below it. A high, sharp, well grounded rod can bleed this induced charge into the air, reducing the field between cloud and ground, and reducing the probability of a strike. I'm not sure that this would work for a negative cloud. I ...


1

According to wikipedia (and an old textbook I have read), an arc is maintained by "thermionic emission of electrons from the electrodes", that is, in practice it relies on energy already being dissipated from the current to heat the electrodes. A spark can occur immediately when breakdown voltage for the air gap is exceeded and the gas is ionized ...


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