HomeScience and TechnologyStudy Has Found Why Lightning Is Observed In Zigzag Pattern

    Study Has Found Why Lightning Is Observed In Zigzag Pattern


    Share post:

    - Advertisement -

    by Nikhil Pandey

    Lightning proceeds in a series of steps.

    All of us have seen lightning and have been surprised at the giant spark of electricity in the atmosphere between clouds and the air. The thunder and the loud boom of the phenomenon can scare a lot of people. If one might closely observe, in movies or otherwise, lightning is always seen in a “zigzag” pattern known as steps.

    These “zigzags” (also known as steps) are explained by a recent study that was published in the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. It also explains how lightning may travel over thousands of kilometres.

    - Advertisement -

    Lightning is an electrical discharge caused by imbalances between storm clouds and the ground or within the clouds themselves, according to National Geographic. Most lightning occurs within the clouds. “Sheet lightning” describes a distant bolt that lights up an entire cloud base. Other visible bolts may appear as beads, ribbons, or rocket lightning.

    Thunderclouds have powerful electrical fields that excite electrons to the point where they have enough energy to produce “single delta oxygen molecules.”

    These molecules and electrons combine to form a small, strongly conducting step that briefly emits brilliant light.

    Another brilliant, flashing leap occurs after a brief pause during the build-up at the end of the step. The procedure is continually repeated to form the zigzags.

    According to the The Conversation, photographs of lightning reveal a host of details not observed by the naked eye. Usually there are four or five faint “leaders” coming from the cloud. These are branched and zigzag on an irregular path towards the earth.

    - Advertisement -

    Pictures of lightning show a variety of features that the human eye is unable to see. Typically, the cloud will have four or five weak “leaders” emerging from it. These zigzag and branch as they go in an unpredictably downward direction.

    - Advertisement -


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    In case you missed it..


    These Butterflies Full of Wasps Full of Microwasps Are a Science Nightmare

    Accidentally released on a Finnish island 30 years ago, the parasites are spreading writes Patrick Barkham. When caterpillars...

    ‘I don’t want to die.’ Afghan researchers fear for their safety—and the future of science

    By Richard StoneAug. Twice the Taliban tried to kill Khyber Mashal*. Its first attempt was in 2009, when the...

    Chemists Cook Up Way To Remove Microplastics Using Okra

    Extracts of okra and other slimy plants commonly used in cooking can help remove dangerous microplastics from wastewater,...

    An Ancient Debate: Is Engineering Science?

    Science and engineering are completely different fields writes Richard Adefioye For most people, engineering and science are interchangeable concepts....