Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thunder and Lightning

Thunder and lightning are so common an experience, you may never have thought about what you're seeing and hearing.  Thunder can seem to last forever as it rolls over you, but the flash of lightning lasts only a moment.  Why?

Do you know any other trivia related to thunder and lightning?


  1. Because light travels MUCH faster than sound.

    While you see the flash of lightning pretty much at once, you hear the sound of thunder spread out over time--as sound from further away takes longer to arrive.
    The sound that travels farther is a bit fainter, thus resulting in the rumble of thunder later than the flash of lightning.

  2. Read the following linked document for more trivia


  3. Thanks for the link, there's some good information on that page.

    Bobby got the explanation right. The time for the sound of thunder to reach you is spread out because the lightning bolt is so spread out. If the bolt goes from the cloud to the ground, you hear the sound from the bottom of the bolt before you hear the sound from the top of the bolt since it's farther away.

    The link above does a good job explaining the phenomenon, plus gives some history on how people have tried to explain thunder and lightning through the ages.

  4. The electric discharge is hotter then the surface of the sun.


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