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Attract lightning

  1. Dec 16, 2013 #1
    Could you use a negatively polarized electro-magnet with a positively charged lightning storm to attract lightning to strike at your position?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 16, 2013 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    What do you mean by negatively polarized electromagnet? Magnets has both north and south poles there's no sense of positive or negative.
  4. Dec 16, 2013 #3
    Like the magnet is polarized south and the storm is polarized north, could you cause lightning with that sceniro?
  5. Dec 17, 2013 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    xthomasbhx, storms are not polarized. Storms do, however, develop voltage (charge) differences which, can cause a lightning discharge. No magnet will attract or repel voltage.

    Lightning is voltage-dependent. Storms separate charges into positive and negative volumes. If a cloud was highly negative relative to the earth below it, once the "breakdown voltage" was reached we expect a "spark" or lightning bolt would jump between those two charged volumes and therefore discharge that great imbalance (or, neutralize the difference in potential).
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