How many watts is a lightning strike?

Lightning is a natural electrical discharge created by imbalances between a cumulonimbus cloud and the ground or within itself. Lightning is pure electricity involving small particles with positive and negative charges that pull toward each other like the north and south ends of magnets. Lightnings are scary and of course dangerous, but it is a subject of fascination for scientists. During thunderstorms, scientists  witness a lot of lightning.  On an average, scientists have mapped, there are about 100 lightnings per second worldwide.That's a whopping number. Imagine the amount of energy that's shooting up from the clouds. Each bolt can contain up to one billion volts of electricity. This means a single lightning flash has enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for three months!  So, How many homes could a lightning bolt power? Every lightning bolt on Earth in one year, captured perfectly with no loss of energy, would contain about 4*10^17 joules of energy. Thus, all the lightning in the entire world could only power 8% of US households. Human body can tolerate a maximum of between 20,000 and 50,000 volts, which might prove to be lethal. In most cases, a person's heart will stop after being struck by lightning, so the key to survival is having someone nearby who can administer CPR. Even if you survive, a lightning strike will have long-lasting effects on your body, including memory issues, muscle soreness and changes in mood.

People often confuse lightning with thunder. To put it simply, lightning is electricity; thunder is sound. In other words, lightning is the sudden flash of light spotted in the sky, while thunder is the roaring, cracking sound that is commonly heard during thunderstorms. And because light travels faster than sound, lightning is seen before thunder can be heard.

Picture Credit : Google 

Does oil conduct electricity?

A material or a liquid conducts electricity when it contains charged particles that can move within it. Such charged particles can be electrons or atoms and molecules as long as they carry an electrical charge. An atom or a molecule carrying an electrical charge is called an ion. For example, salt crystals dissolve into ions in water, which increases the conductivity of salty sea water. Depending on how much salt and other minerals there are, water can be more or less conductive. This is why one should be careful with electrical devices in the bathroom. Oils, cooking oil or kerosene, are usually bad conductors of electricity because they do not contain many ions. In fact, they are often considered insulators, which is the opposite of conductors. But when salts or metals are added, oils can become conductive to some extent.

The American Petroleum Institute classifies oils into five groups. Group 1 includes oils that have been mildly-refined and possess very low electrical conductivity. Group 2 is comprised of hydrogen-treated oils that also have low conductivity. Group 3 and Group 4 are more highly-refined oils used primarily as industrial lubricants with low conductivity. Group5 oils possess high electrical conductivity and are not suitable for use as base oils because the electrical discharges can damage system components.

Picture Credit : Google 

Where nuclear power is used to generate electricity in Europe?

An important world record in the field of nuclear science is held by Britain, where the world’s first atomic power station was built in 1956 at Calder Hall.

Since then, the generation of electric power by atomic or nuclear reactors has become increasingly important in Europe, where over 10 percent of total generating capacity is now nuclear. This is a higher proportion than in any other continent.

The leading European nuclear country in terms of nuclear power stations is France, which generates about a third of its electricity from nuclear fuels. Then come Germany, Britain, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and The Netherlands.

British nuclear power stations use a variety of different kinds of reactors, including an experimental fast breeder reactor at Dounreay. This is a kind of reactor that produces more fuel than it consumes and it could in theory generate immense amounts of power in the future.

However the technological problems involved have proved extremely difficult to solve and it is now doubtful whether the fast breeder will ever fulfil its early promise. Although nuclear power stations have to date worked well and safely throughout Europe, there is a mounting problem of radioactive waste disposal.                                                                                                                                                                                                          


Picture Credit : Google

Are Electricity and Electronics different?

Electricity in a wire creates the pushes and pulls that get work done. It lights lamps and runs machines. But electricity has another important use. It can carry information. Thanks to electricity’s ability to carry information, we have tiny radios, handheld calculators and video games, and personal computers.

The use of electricity to carry electric signals is called electronics. These electric signals may stand for sounds, pictures, numbers, letters, computer instructions, or other sorts of information.

An electronic device has many tiny electrical pathways called circuits. Each circuit has a special job. Some circuits store signals. Others change signals. For example, in an electronic calculator, one circuit might add two numbers together. When the answer is reached, another circuit sends a signal that light up a display screen to show the answer.

The circuits in most of today’s electronic devices are mounted on a chip, a piece of material that is no bigger than a fingernail.

Picture Credit : Google

What is Electromagnet?

Electricity can make light and heat. It can also make a magnet. But this is a magnet you can turn on and off.

A magnet made with electricity is called an electromagnet. An electromagnet has two parts. The first part is a solid centre, or core, made of iron. The second part is an outer covering made of wire that is coiled many times around and around the solid iron core.

When an electric current runs through the wound wire, the iron becomes a magnet. The iron gets its pull, or magnetism, from the moving electrons in the wire. As soon as the electric current is turned off, an electromagnet loses its magnetism.

Electromagnets are used to make electric motors run. A motor has two sets of these magnets - an outer set that stays in place and an inner set that moves. The inner set of electromagnets is attached to an axle - a rod that can spin. When the motor is turned on, the two sets of electromagnets push and pull against each other. That push makes the inner magnets move and spin the axle. And the spinning axle gives a push that makes the motor run.

Picture Credit : Google