||Lightning starts almost in the same
way as you saw in Section 3 Charged Object.
Thunder storm always has a strong wind with it. The
wind!!! Maybe you got it. The wind, all the small
molecules such as oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, neon
and argon are flying freely with high speed.
Wind starts to rub the surface of the ground and
the buildings. Then, the molecules take electrons
from them and carry them to the sky. The ground
becomes positively charged and the bottom of the
cloud becomes negative and upper part becomes
by induction). Also, cloud is mostly
consisted of vaporized water and is a good conductor
compared to air. As a result, the cloud starts to
build up charges (Charging by conduction).
The cloud has high potential than the surface of
the ground. When the charges are strong enough to
flow through the air (the insulator), then it takes
the shortest course in the air that has a very low
electric potential energy (See Chapter 13 - Section
1. Flow of Charge).
Most of the time, lightning hits the ground.
However, because lightning flows from high potential
energy to low potential energy, it can also flow to
the other part of cloud if it has lower potential
energy than the air.
When you play golf and you feel your hair is stood
up, then it is better to take out all metal things
such as glasses, watch, ring etc. to avoid lighting.
Then, be in the lowest place and do not go near any
trees. When lightning hits trees, it is highly
possible that the current flows through tree and it
will spread on the ground horizontally.