Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

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


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    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.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Lightning in vacuum
  1. In a vacuum (Replies: 3)

  2. Lightning rod (Replies: 1)

  3. Attract lightning (Replies: 3)

  4. Lightning and uranium (Replies: 2)

  5. Ball Lightning. (Replies: 7)