# Essay, Research Paper: Lightning

## Physics

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Lightning is a discharge of static electricity in the atmosphere, which causes a
bright flash of light. When lighting goes through the air, it heats the air to
degrees hotter than the sun's surface about 50,000 degrees fahrenheit. This
heating causes the air to expand and contract. This causes the sound called
thunder. Lightning is caused by a build up of negative ions in the atmosphere
which discharges into the ground causing the negative ions to go with the
positive ions in the ground. Static electricity is negatively and positively
charged atoms. A static charge on the other hand is a individual atom with a
negative or positive charge. There are three types of charges negative positive
and neutral. Negative and positive ions attract. But two negatives repel each
other, just like two positives will. Neutrally charged ions can attract to both
negative and positive ions, because they have and balanced charge of negative
and positive ions, this means it has the same amount of negative and positive
ions. This is where the following rule is true "opposites attract, and
likes repel." Static electricity is generated when two different objects
are rubbed together and some electrons are stolen from one object and then start
to collect on the surface of the other object. The object that loses electrons
becomes positively charged, because electrons are negatively charged and there
is an absence of electrons and too many protons. Now because opposites attract
and like repel the reason hair stands up when you rub something on it can be
explained. When something is rubbed in a dry place, the thing takes electrons
from your hair, leaving your hair with a positive charge it stands up as far
away as possible from the other positively charged hairs. There reason there is
little static electricity in areas with a high humidity, like the Virgin
Islands, is because the humidity in the air is a conductor of electricity, so it
helps trancfer the free electrons to an area that can accept electrons, like the
earth so not many free electrons stay on any object that is saturated. Static
electricity can be use to do many things, one of these things is keeping down
air pollution by putting an electrode in factory smoke stacks so that the dust
will collect on the electrode. Lightning and static can be hazardous. lightning
is harmful, some people think it does not have any threat from a distance, like
when a lighting storm is up to ten miles away. The most lightning strikes take
place under the lightning storm where the rain is raining the hardest. Signs to
tell if lightning is going to strike in your area are, If your hair stands up
you hear static popping or crackling, and if you feel you body tingle due to
ions moving through your body the static on portable electronic things increases
suddenly, you smell the smell of statically charged air, or you see static
sparks sparking in the air around you. Things to do inside to keep from getting
hurt while in a lightning storm are, get away from doorways outside, porches,
windows, and good conductors of electricity. Avoid phones that are not cordless
and if it is a cordless phone avoid it if it is on the cradle. Do not touch
things that use electricity unless they are unplugged. Do not stand near or lay
on concrete walls. Do not use a metal building for shelter. And don't go into
the basement because the electricity can travel through the ground. To not get
hurt outside, go inside if you hear thunder, if the sky looks threatening, and
stay inside for at least 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder. If you are
caught outside and do not have shelter close to you during a lightning storm,
you should crouch to the ground, get onto the balls of your feet, put your hands
can, and try to have as little physical contact to the ground as you can. Static
electricity has been known about for some time. Some time around the year 600BC
the Greek Mathematician named Thales was might have been the first to record
that amber rubbed with fur would attract small light objects. In 1733 C.F. de
Cistenay Dufay named the two charges of static, resinous electricity due to too
many electrons, and electron deficiency electricity. Now static electricity is
discovered to be a source of many problems in industry. . Static can cause
problems in Industry, like in the production of plastic materials, and the
transportation or use of flammable liquids. With the production of plastic
materials the plastic can cause the production machines to clog, and thin strips
of plastic to stick together and clog machines. With transporting or using
flammable liquids a static spark can igniht a whole container of the liquid.
Some techniques were developed to help prevent static problems with the
production of static , the two major techniques are chemicals, or the use of
carbon and or metal fillers. With the chemical way of controlling static the
chemicals are mixed with the molding palettes or powder. The second way is to
apply the chemicals directly to the surface of the plastic that has the molding.
These two chemical methods work, because they help distribute the static into
the air, by increasing the conductivity of the plastic. With the metal/carbon
filler method you mix in the metal or carbon pellets in with the molding
pellets/dust. This way works because it helps bring up the conductivity of the
plastic molded with the fillers. Although these techniques for getting of the
static may sound good, there are drawbacks, like with all good things. The
chemical method corrodes the machinery and lets bacteria and/or fungus to grow
in the product or production equipment it also easily wear out. The metal/carbon
filler has its own set of problems, They either work themselves out of the
product, because the fillers don't mix well with the plastic, and cause the work
areas to get dirty (can be a major problem in some areas). The fillers also make
plastic opaque, so that will make it difficult to track while being produced.
This is bad because the product would need to be tracked to see how efficient
the work is going. There are three major techniques for preventing static
electricity in the transportation storage transference and use of flammable
liquids. The first way is by bonding two containers when transferring the liquid
between them. What you do in bonding is you take something that can conduct
electricity and you connect it between the two containers. What bonding is to do
is make the static charges in the containers about equal, so that there will not
be much static potential energy, and no sparks will form while transferring
liquid, most of the transferring pumps that are made have special grounding
things in their transfer hoses. Another way to prevent static electricity build
up in the storage of conductive containers of the liquid is to ground them. You
can ground things by connecting the containers on metal, or conductive material
that is some how driven into the ground, but you must make sure that the
container is in direct contact with the material or metal. The third way for
controlling static electricity is by using non-conductive material so that it
will be rather hard for any static to build up in the containers. There are some
problems with these techniques though. The first two methods are not reliable
because a good connection between to metal surfaces is hard to maintain, and the
third method has some problems too, certain types of containers might not be
able to take heat or shock. There are some inventions made to make static
electricity, like the Van de Graaf generator, AKA tin can generator, made by Dr.
Robert Van de Graaf. This generator can generate some 100,000 to 10 million
volts of electricity. Although this generator was made in 1935, it was not the
first one. There were other static electricity generators like Von Busch's
generator, which was made in 1893, and is a generator made with two pulleys and
a belt running between them, which rubs on a charge collector comb inside and a
sphere that has been insulated. Another static electricity generator is
Rouland's generator. Rouland's generator was made in 1785, this generator has a
ribbon running between two pulleys with a charge collector tube in the middle.
These three generators can be used to see how much static can effect some
certain types of materials. The three generators might not work in humid places
because the water in the air might help conduct the static charges to a place
where they can easily be taken in by positively charged ions. Lightning can be
dangerous and may hurt you badly and even kill you if it gets to you, But all
Lightning is, is a enormous charge of static electricity. Static electricity can
charge in many different places, as long as there is poor grounding, poor
conducting and plenty of negative and positive charge ions to go transfer to and
from. There will be static charges where ever more than one atom with at least
two or more electrons and protons are, as long as they orbit each other and
occasionally steal electrons from each other and then give them back, as long as
this happens there will be static charges. Index (in order of appearance)
Definition of Lightning, 1 What Makes Lightning, 1 What Makes Static, 1
Definition of Static electricity, 1 Uses for Static, 2 Lightning Safety, 2
Static History, 3 Static Hazards, 3 Static Prevention in Plastic Production, 3
Static Prevention in Fuel, 4 Static Generators, 5 Static Ideas, 5 Static and
LightningBibliographyhttp://www.pluginstorage.com/html/save_the_boards.html website: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/er/mhx/lightng.htm
website: http://www.nhoem.state.nh.us/mitigation/section_iii.htm website:
website: http://www.amasci.com/emotor/statelec.html (used to get more resources)
website: http://www.nhoem.state.nh.us/mitigation/fig%203-16.htm website: http://tqjunior.thinkquest.org/6064/history.html
website: http://www.idptech.com/static.htm website: http://www.engr.uky.edu/~gedney/courses/ee468/expmnt/vdg.html
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