Lightning is a discharge of static electricity in the atmosphere, which causes a bright flash of light. When lighting goes through the air, it heats the air to degrees hotter than the sun’s surface about 50,000 degrees fahrenheit. This heating causes the air to expand and contract. This causes the sound called thunder. Lightning is caused by a build up of negative ions in the atmosphere which discharges into the ground causing the negative ions to go with the positive ions in the ground.
Static electricity is negatively and positively charged atoms. A static charge on the other hand is a individual atom with a negative or positive charge. There are three types of charges negative positive and neutral. Negative and positive ions attract. But two negatives repel each other, just like two positives will. Neutrally charged ions can attract to both negative and positive ions, because they have and balanced charge of negative and positive ions, this means it has the same amount of negative and positive ions. This is where the following rule is true opposites attract, and likes repel. Static electricity is generated when two different objects are rubbed together and some electrons are stolen from one object and then start to collect on the surface of the other object. The object that loses electrons becomes positively charged, because electrons are negatively charged and there is an absence of electrons and too many protons.
Now because opposites attract and like repel the reason hair stands up when you rub something on it can be explained. When something is rubbed in a dry place, the thing takes electrons from your hair, leaving your hair with a positive charge it stands up as far away as possible from the other positively charged hairs. There reason there is little static electricity in areas with a high humidity, like the Virgin Islands, is because the humidity in the air is a conductor of electricity, so it helps trancfer the free electrons to an area that can accept electrons, like the earth so not many free electrons stay on any object that is saturated.
Static electricity can be use to do many things, one of these things is keeping down air pollution by putting an electrode in factory smoke stacks so that the dust will collect on the electrode.
Lightning and static can be hazardous. lightning is harmful, some people think it does not have any threat from a distance, like when a lighting storm is up to ten miles away. The most lightning strikes take place under the lightning storm where the rain is raining the hardest.
Signs to tell if lightning is going to strike in your area are, If your hair stands up you hear static popping or crackling, and if you feel you body tingle due to ions moving through your body the static on portable electronic things increases suddenly, you smell the smell of statically charged air, or you see static sparks sparking in the air around you. Things to do inside to keep from getting hurt while in a lightning storm are, get away from doorways outside, porches, windows, and good conductors of electricity. Avoid phones that are not cordless and if it is a cordless phone avoid it if it is on the cradle. Do not touch things that use electricity unless they are unplugged. Do not stand near or lay on concrete walls. Do not use a metal building for shelter. And don’t go into the basement because the electricity can travel through the ground. To not get hurt outside, go inside if you hear thunder, if the sky looks threatening, and stay inside for at least 30 minutes after the last sound of thunder. If you are caught outside and do not have shelter close to you during a lightning storm, you should crouch to the ground, get onto the balls of your feet, put your hands on your knees, put your head between your knees, make yourself as small as you can, and try to have as little physical contact to the ground as you can.
Static electricity has been known about for some time. Some time around the year 600BC the Greek Mathematician named Thales was might have been the first to record that amber rubbed with fur would attract small light objects. In 1733 C.F. de Cistenay Dufay named the two charges of static, resinous electricity due to too many electrons, and electron deficiency electricity. Now static electricity is discovered to be a source of many problems in industry.
. Static can cause problems in Industry, like in the production of plastic materials, and the transportation or use of flammable liquids. With the production of plastic materials the plastic can cause the production machines to clog, and thin strips of plastic to stick together and clog machines. With transporting or using flammable liquids a static spark can igniht a whole container of the liquid.
Some techniques were developed to help prevent static problems with the production of static , the two major techniques are chemicals, or the use of carbon and or metal fillers. With the chemical way of controlling static the chemicals are mixed with the molding palettes or powder. The second way is to apply the chemicals directly to the surface of the plastic that has the molding. These two chemical methods work, because they help distribute the static into the air, by increasing the conductivity of the plastic. With the metal/carbon filler method you mix in the metal or carbon pellets in with the molding pellets/dust. This way works because it helps bring up the conductivity of the plastic molded with the fillers. Although these techniques for getting of the static may sound good, there are drawbacks, like with all good things. The chemical method corrodes the machinery and lets bacteria and/or fungus to grow in the product or production equipment it also easily wear out. The metal/carbon filler has its own set of problems, They either work themselves out of the product, because the fillers don’t mix well with the plastic, and cause the work areas to get dirty (can be a major problem in some areas). The fillers also make plastic opaque, so that will make it difficult to track while being produced. This is bad because the product would need to be tracked to see how efficient the work is going.
There are three major techniques for preventing static electricity in the transportation storage transference and use of flammable liquids. The first way is by bonding two containers when transferring the liquid between them. What you do in bonding is you take something that can conduct electricity and you connect it between the two containers. What bonding is to do is make the static charges in the containers about equal, so that there will not be much static potential energy, and no sparks will form while transferring liquid, most of the transferring pumps that are made have special grounding things in their transfer hoses. Another way to prevent static electricity build up in the storage of conductive containers of the liquid is to ground them. You can ground things by connecting the containers on metal, or conductive material that is some how driven into the ground, but you must make sure that the container is in direct contact with the material or metal. The third way for controlling static electricity is by using non-conductive material so that it will be rather hard for any static to build up in the containers. There are some problems with these techniques though. The first two methods are not reliable because a good connection between to metal surfaces is hard to maintain, and the third method has some problems too, certain types of containers might not be able to take heat or shock.
There are some inventions made to make static electricity, like the Van de Graaf generator, AKA tin can generator, made by Dr. Robert Van de Graaf. This generator can generate some 100,000 to 10 million volts of electricity. Although this generator was made in 1935, it was not the first one. There were other static electricity generators like Von Busch’s generator, which was made in 1893, and is a generator made with two pulleys and a belt running between them, which rubs on a charge collector comb inside and a sphere that has been insulated. Another static electricity generator is Rouland’s generator. Rouland’s generator was made in 1785, this generator has a ribbon running between two pulleys with a charge collector tube in the middle. These three generators can be used to see how much static can effect some certain types of materials. The three generators might not work in humid places because the water in the air might help conduct the static charges to a place where they can easily be taken in by positively charged ions.
Lightning can be dangerous and may hurt you badly and even kill you if it gets to you, But all Lightning is, is a enormous charge of static electricity.
Static electricity can charge in many different places, as long as there is poor grounding, poor conducting and plenty of negative and positive charge ions to go transfer to and from. There will be static charges where ever more than one atom with at least two or more electrons and protons are, as long as they orbit each other and occasionally steal electrons from each other and then give them back, as long as this happens there will be static charges.
Index (in order of appearance)
Definition of Lightning, 1
What Makes Lightning, 1
What Makes Static, 1
Definition of Static electricity, 1
Uses for Static, 2
Lightning Safety, 2
Static History, 3
Static Hazards, 3
Static Prevention in Plastic Production, 3
Static Prevention in Fuel, 4
Static Generators, 5
Static Ideas, 5
Static and Lightning conclusion, 5
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