Register to reply

Why does the thunder from lighting last much longer than the flash?

by cantgetaname
Tags: flash, lighting, thunder
Share this thread:
cantgetaname
#1
Jun18-14, 09:46 AM
P: 36
I was walking home today when I noticed that the flash from a lighting takes a fraction of a second while the sound lasts a good 5-6 seconds.
I couldn't think of an explanation for this, except a wild guess that maybe the source of sound is a line source and sound from different points on the lightning bolt takes different times to reach the observer.
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on Phys.org
New approach to form non-equilibrium structures
Nike krypton laser achieves spot in Guinness World Records
Unleashing the power of quantum dot triplets
olivermsun
#2
Jun18-14, 09:58 AM
P: 609
That's most of the answer. Lightning bolts can be miles long. Sound in air needs several seconds to travel a miles-longer path. Another answer depending on your surroundings is the presence of echoes, which create additional paths.
rcgldr
#3
Jun18-14, 12:17 PM
HW Helper
P: 7,033
Here is a video of an unusual (for southern California) thunderstorm. There are a few instances where you see the flash and hear the thunder. At this particular location, echoes from nearby hills add to the sound.



Register to reply

Related Discussions
Would space lightning last longer then earth lighting? General Physics 21
Lighting a candle, blowing it out and relighting it by lighting the smoke? General Physics 3
Thunder light is a.c or dc Electrical Engineering 6
Thunder flies General Discussion 6
A sound of thunder General Discussion 16