How to replicate lightning?/What is lightning?

trevor borocz johnson

Registered Senior Member
Can someone answer how water vapor in the clouds gets positively charged? I'm thinking that the Earth's magnetic field is at play when lightning strikes. The lightning maybe attracted to the giant steel magnet under our feet. How do clouds get superfluous electrons gathered in them? Could it be all the heat from the sun charges the water molecules? and not friction?

Could you build a device with a magnet that attracts electricity from water somehow? Perhaps simply a magnet inside a box pressured with steam that 's spinning and a magnet below the box to attract electricity?

Or maybe it has to do with the low pressure and cold air beneath the clouds. So maybe if you fill the top half of a cup with steam and the bottom with cold water, then a powerful magnet below the whole thing, charge would flow from the steam, through the cold water and into the magnet where it could be stored.

https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/home/F_What_Causes_Lightning_Flash.html

You need cold air and warm air. When they meet, the warm air goes up. It makes thunderstorm clouds! The cold air has ice crystals. The warm air has water droplets. During the storm, the droplets and crystals bump together and move apart in the air. This rubbing makes static electrical charges in the clouds.

Just like a battery, these clouds have a "plus" end and a "minus" end. The plus, or positive, charges in the cloud are at the top. The minus, or negative, charges are at the bottom. When the charge at the bottom gets strong enough, the cloud lets out energy.

Image above: Look at a battery and find the plus end and the minus end. Credit: NASA

The energy goes through the air. It goes to a place that has the opposite charge. This lightning bolt of energy that is let out is called a leader stroke. It can go from the cloud to the ground. Or, a leader stroke can go from the cloud to another cloud. No one is sure why lightning bolts follow a zigzag path as they move. The main bolt or stroke will go back up to the cloud. It will make a flash of lightning. It will also heat the air. The air will spread quickly. It will make the sound we hear as thunder.

While Trevor "Ballocks" Johnson is as mad as a March hare, it does seem that the mechanism of charge separation in thunderclouds remains unclear.

mechanism of charge separation in thunderclouds remains unclear.
Agreed. This is one of those things that seems (to nonexperts like myself) like it would be relatively easy for scientist to figure out but has remained elusive.

Agreed. This is one of those things that seems (to nonexperts like myself) like it would be relatively easy for scientist to figure out but has remained elusive.
There is a review of the various models and their associated drawbacks here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227134643_Charge_Separation_Mechanisms_in_Clouds

It looks as if the two most promising ones are one in which ice particles are involved and one in which one has falling droplets already polarised by the electric field within the cloud. I'll need to spend more time reading this to understand how these mechanism would work. But it is clear that there is no agreed model as things stand.

Or maybe it has to do with the low pressure and cold air beneath the clouds. So maybe if you fill the top half of a cup with steam and the bottom with cold water, then a powerful magnet below the whole thing, charge would flow from the steam, through the cold water and into the magnet where it could be stored.
Regardless of how clouds work, and regardless of whether you could downscale it like you suggest, the question remains: why? What do you hope to accomplish?

This is not an energy source. Any energy you manage to store is energy you had to manually put into it in the first place.

That is not the same as a storm cloud with lightning. The point of the energy in a storm cloud is that the atmosphere is harvesting the energy for free - if you can capture it, then it's an energy source that you could leverage. But that does not scale down.

Having now read the paper I linked in post 7, it looks as if the leading hypotheses for charge separation in thunderclouds are an inductive mechanism and one involving charge transfer between graupel (soft hail) and ice crystals.

The inductive one relies on the idea that the electric field within the cloud (+ve at the top and -ve at the bottom) polarises the falling larger droplets so they are +ve on the bottom and capture electrons from smaller rising droplets they encounter, which thus become positively charged as they ascend.

The ice one is more intriguing. Experiments in large cloud chambers at Manchester university have apparently shown that when falling lumps of graupel contact ice crystals, there tends to be transfer of charge. Depending on the temperature, this can go in either direction. There's a lot more to it, but what intrigues me is why crystals and graupel would have differing resistance to ionisation, and whether it would be electrons or protons that are transferred in the interaction. I wonder if it is something to do with the unsatisfied valencies that exist at the face, edges and especially vertices of a crystal, where molecules are exposed that are not fully bonded into the lattice. The paper doesn't go into any of that, being concerned with the electrostatics of the situation, rather than what may be going on at the molecular level.

Anyway, this shows that the mechanism, or mechanisms, are not well understood yet, though there is research going on to find out.

the thunderstorm clouds are taller then regular rain clouds. The part of the atmosphere they reach up into is thinner, colder, and more conductive then on the surface. The heat goes to the top of the clouds and the water molecules begin making excessive electrons and the cloud varies in charge where places with no charge get struck with lightning from places with less charge. It’s may be about even distribution of heat energy, where areas of the clouds cooled by running rain water becomes a colder region for heat that transfers through lightning.

One could start this process by creating a vacuum in a chamber with water and turn the water into vapor at room temperature. Once you have the 'cloud' you have to apply heat. definitely would take some experimenting.

One could start this process by creating a vacuum in a chamber with water and turn the water into vapor at room temperature. Once you have the 'cloud' you have to apply heat. definitely would take some experimenting.
Or you could just put on some socks and shuffle across a carpet...

the thunderstorm clouds are taller then regular rain clouds. The part of the atmosphere they reach up into is thinner, colder, and more conductive then on the surface. The heat goes to the top of the clouds and the water molecules begin making excessive electrons and the cloud varies in charge where places with no charge get struck with lightning from places with less charge. It’s may be about even distribution of heat energy, where areas of the clouds cooled by running rain water becomes a colder region for heat that transfers through lightning.

One could start this process by creating a vacuum in a chamber with water and turn the water into vapor at room temperature. Once you have the 'cloud' you have to apply heat. definitely would take some experimenting.
This sort of crap is why you got banned, today, from the .net site. It makes no sense whatever. Molecules don't "make excessive electrons". Clouds are not "cooled by running rain water". It is electrical potential differences that cause lightning discharges, not temperature differences.

This sort of crap is why you got banned, today, from the .net site. It makes no sense whatever. Molecules don't "make excessive electrons". Clouds are not "cooled by running rain water". It is electrical potential differences that cause lightning discharges, not temperature differences.

Exchemist, from my aetherist point of view I would say that adding heat to the electron causes it to orbit closer to the nucleus. The heat of the nucleus is hotter then the electron, and free moving energy seeks out colder less dense regions to spread to, so when the electron is excited by adding energy it actually sinks in deeper into the 'nucleus heat'/gravity field of the nucleus.

Sounds like the cavemen (quantum mechanics people) are holding the stick on fire, and have words to describe its effects, but no real understanding without the Aether IMO. There's definitely a lot of argument amongst you anti-aetherist's who are just brilliant when it comes to adding and subtracting, but no concurrence unless you mean dim and his friends agreeing with anything that a bright guy like you says.

So I'm going to continue to crapshoot the answers using the aether as wrong and silly as they sound. I figure I'm done for the most part having described the aether as heat and how magnetism, energy, matter, and gravity use the aether to exist, and can now move on to the vast region of science unexplained, matters like understanding molecules.

It's not my thing to bash your intelligence like so many arrogant intellects think is funny. So continue on being anti-Aether pro QM nonsense it makes no difference or sense to me. Eventually Aetherist's will win the day.

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b10960

The water molecules becoming polarized by heat in the cloud, would that make that part of the cloud like a magnet?
That, while interesting, is polarisation induced by a temperature gradient in solution.

Polarisation does not involve producing extra electrons. Magnetism has nothing to do with any of this. Polarisation is an electrostatic phenomenon. Forget magnetism.

The water molecules becoming polarized by heat in the cloud, would that make that part of the cloud like a magnet?
Another swing, and another miss.

Please do not post pseudoscience as if it is science.
The water molecules in the high parts of the cloud experience the lowest atmospheric pressure. Water being highly energy absorbent mops up all the heat and it gathers in the top of the cloud. The heated water molecule has a resistance to bonding with other molecules and when two heated water molecules in the high storm clouds bump together the heat converts to there bonding energy which is electricity but the bonds are weak from the low pressure and transfers easily to other areas that are cooler.

Two bell jars one with lower pressure then the other and one with cold water and the other hot. Also a conductive copper wire between the two. Just a brain thing.

Moderator note: trevor has been warned (again) to stop posting pseudoscience as if it were science, especially to our Science subforums.

Due to accumulated warning points, trevor will be leaving us again for a time.

megga structures

what we dont really have in todays modern capable world is megga structures

what we know we can do is plant a Forrest to create rain fall effect next to coastal & hill areas.