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Lightning in vacuum

  1. Feb 2, 2009 #1
    Can lightning travel through vacuum? Does sitting in a vaccum chamber reduce/increase/no effect the probability of being hit by lightning?

    If lightning can travel through vacuum, I would imagine there wouldn't be any heat or light - hence it would be just an electric shock. True?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 2, 2009 #2


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    No - lightning is the plasma from air that has been heated enough to lose it's electrons and glow white hot.
    In a perfect vacuum there is no air (or other gas) to glow so no lightning.
    You can have an electrical current flowing in a vacuum once the field gets large enough to pull electrons off the surface of an electrode and then dragged by the field to another electrode.
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