• Why is thunder rattling?

    Irina Vashchenko
    Irina Vashchenko
    March 21, 2013
    Why is thunder rattling?

    Thunderstorm - an atmospheric phenomenon, though not so rare, as, for example, the northern lights or the lights of St. Elmo, but no less bright and impressive for its indomitable power and primeval power. It is not for nothing that all poets and romantic prose writers like to describe it in their works, and professional revolutionaries see in a thunderstorm a symbol of popular unrest and serious social upheavals. From a scientific point of view, a thunderstorm is a heavy rain, accompanied by squally wind amplification, lightning and thunder. But, if with rain and wind you probably understand everything, then it is worth telling about the other components of the storm.

    What is thunder and lightning

    Lightning refers to powerful electrical discharges in the atmosphere that can occur between individual cumulus clouds and between rain clouds and the earth. Lightning is a kind of giant electric arc, with an average length of 2.5 - 3 kilometers.The fact that the current in the discharge reaches tens of thousands of amperes, and the voltage - several million volts, speaks of the incredible power of lightning. Given the fact that such fantastic power is released within a few milliseconds, the lightning discharge can be called a kind of electric explosion of incredible power. It is clear that such a detonation inevitably causes the appearance of a shock wave, which then degenerates into a sound one, and fades as it propagates in air. Thus, it becomes obvious what thunder is.

    Thunder - this is the sound vibrations that occur in the atmosphere under the influence of a shock wave caused by a powerful electric discharge. Considering the fact that the air in the lightning channel is instantly heated to a temperature of about 20 thousand degrees, which exceeds the temperature of the surface of the Sun, such a discharge is inevitably accompanied by a deafening roar, like any other very powerful explosion. But after all the lightning lasts less than a second, and we hear thunder with long peals. Why is this happening, why does thunder roar? Scientists studying atmospheric phenomena have an answer to this question.

    Why do we hear thunder

    Peals of thunder occur in the atmosphere due to the fact that lightning, as we have said, is very long and therefore the sound from its various parts reaches our ear not at the same time, although we see the light flash itself all at once. In addition, the emergence of thunder peals contributes to the reflection of sound waves from the clouds and the surface of the earth, as well as their refraction and dispersion.


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