What happens to the current when lightning strikes a swimming pool?

  • Thread starter klng
  • Start date
22
0
Hi all,

In response to the above question, i read somewhere before that when lightning strikes a pool, or the sea, the current will dissipate along the water surface. The current will penetrate only to a small depth into the water.

A simple search on Google throws up the simple explanation "The Skin Effect". Lightning is described as a high frequency Alternating current.

Can i have some help to explain - in simple terms - this spreading of current over water surface?In addition, how far on the water surface does the current actually spreads out?

Thanks. Physics Forums rock!
 

Delphi51

Homework Helper
3,407
10
Thank you for a most interesting topic!
I recall that lightning charges go up and down between the surface and the thundercloud - quite a large distance - so the frequency is probably way too low for the high frequency skin effect.

But take a look at http://analogengineering.com/lightning/surface.html
It DOES go along the surface of the water. Looks like you could survive a strike by staying underwater. There is quite a good technical explanation there.
 
22
0
Thanks Delphi 51! Physics forums beat any textbook hands down.
 

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