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Homework Help: Electric potential energy in a lightnight bolt

  1. Jan 26, 2010 #1
    1. During a particular thunderstorm, the electric potential difference between the clouds and the ground is Vcloud-Vground = 10^9 Volts with the cloud being at the higher potential. Now, there is a lightning flash in which a charge of -25C is transferred from the groud to the cloud.

    2. a) how much work is done on the charge by the electric force?

    b) if the work done by the electric force were instead used to accelerate a 1100kg automobile from rest, what would be its final speed?

    c) if the work done were converted to heat, how many kiligrams of water at room temperature could be vaporized?

    3. I know that the energy required to vaporize a certain mas of water is Q = cmdeltaT + mL. The specific heat capacity of water at room temparature is apporximately c = 4186J/(kgxC). The latent heat capacity of water is L = 22.6 x 10^5J/kg. The temperature change is deltaT(100-20)C.
    I'm really not sure how to start on part a but will I need to use the work energy theorem for part b?
  2. jcsd
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