Xtra Credit Report: Thunder And Lightning

829 Words 4 Pages
Andie McLeod
Davis P 3
Xtra Credit Report Rough Draft

Thunder and Lightning. Used in the oldest of stories to express the great power of the gods, the existence of thunder and lightning has been around forever. Regardless there were no letters or primary documents of the event, we are all familiar with the story of the “kite and the key”, the Great Benjamin Franklin experiment which is responsible for the discovery of the properties of lightning, regardless he was not the first to experiment. [ADD MORE TO INTRO PARAGRAPH]

With a high fascination in storms, Ben Franklin first stumbled upon other scientists accounts of lightning, and began to pursue what we now know as “storm chasing”. He began his own experiments, turning regular
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The violent winds inside of the cloud, so water droplets in the bottom part of the cloud are caught in the updrafts and lifted to great heights in the cloud where the colder atmosphere freezes them. Downdrafts of the clouds push the frozen ice and hail from the top of the cloud to the bottom. The smallest particles lose negative ions and become positive, while larger particles gain negative ions and become negative themselves. The results are a cloud with a negatively charged bottom and a positively charged top. The atmosphere acts as an insulator, keeping the extremely powerful electrical currents in. The thundercloud moves along the surface of the earth , the portion of earth beneath it has equal and opposite charge. The first phase of lightning generates a relatively small current (10s or 100s of ampers). The strong negative charge in the cloud attracts positive charges in the ground. When the electrical field becomes strong enough, the bolt of lightning is created through the electrical discharge. Electrons and positive ions of air are ripped apart, forced to go opposite ways. Lightning is, in a form, “lazy”, for the “stepped leader” of negative charge will seek out the closest path to the ground. As the negative charge gets closer to the ground, a streamer (positive charge) comes up to meet the negative charge. When the channels connect, that’s when we see the lightning bolt. Several strokes may use the same path to branch off of, which is why some bolts give off that flickering appearance (before the electrical discharge is

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