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Artificial Lighting

  1. Apr 2, 2005 #1
    I read that lighting happens bcoz evaporated water contains a net negative charge and when it gathers in bulks (clouds) it would create a -ve charge large enough to turn air into plasma and therefore conduct electricity to the ground etc etc... So is it possible to boil water in a closed container which has it's top with a low temperature and insulated and allow lots of water to evaporate and etc etc... would it make artificial lightning? Any equations and fixes are welcome...
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2005 #2
    If nothing new has been presented in last 10 years, then it is still true that no one really understands why lightning exists. The fundamental problem that needs to be explained is how does the charge get separated. If any one has a reasonable answer, I would sure like to hear it.
  4. Apr 2, 2005 #3


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    Double check your calendar, it probably has been 40yrs since your read anything about lighting.

    They have been producing artificial lighting for sometime now and actually know some stuff. I do not think that you will be able to generate sufficient potential difference in a kitchen pot to get a static discharge. First of all since your pot is a metallic conductor any charge generated in the steam will be drained off as fast as it accumulates.
  5. Apr 2, 2005 #4
    I was responding to his idea that negative charged water drops were the cause of lighting. I do know a few things about artificial lighting - About 15 years ago I visited a US navy installations just off the chesapeake bay where there was hugh high voltage capacitor bank and ability to put large (lighting magnitude) currents down vertical conductor (only about 15 or 20 meters). Navy could bring ships near it and test their resistance to EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse thought to be a killer of electronics that might be produced by high altitude nuclear weapon)

    Although this did not produce atmospheric breakdown as lightning does, several large companies (like GE etc.) that are concerned with the electric power industry do make artificial lighting routinely to test insulators, lighting shorts, etc. for the power industry. (They also make ozone and noise that you will never forget.) That is, artificial lighting is not very interesting or new. Hence I was trying to point out that no one understand the natural one - to me that is interesting.
  6. Apr 5, 2005 #5
    You guys mean lightning, not lighing right? (I am familiar with the
    artifical lighting business.)
  7. Apr 5, 2005 #6
    Balls of fire

    Yes - good guess. I am dyslexic and a poor typist - I read what I want to see, reverse order of letters, leave them out, etc. Even if i use spell checker the times my typing does produce a word go unnoticed.

    I worked two summers at LASL and spent at least an hour once there talking to a technician who had seen "ball lightning." - He was a serious person, and I have come to believe it does exist and does, by means difficult to understand, persists for seconds (not just a retinal after image persisting.) If any one here has any personnel (first hand) knowledge about Ball Lightning, I hope you will share it. I am especially interested in details that may help rule out the retinal after image explanations.
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