June 24, 2005 at 4:07 pm #3542
I think having lightning do damage to everything that is underwater when it strikes water would be a good idea. since electricty goes through water.
—Panther30June 24, 2005 at 6:04 pm #19327
that is quite simply the best idea I’ve heard of in a good while! I will add it to the feature request list 🙂 it is a great compromise for those that dont like movement into the water.June 24, 2005 at 10:11 pm #19328
cool idea!June 24, 2005 at 11:11 pm #19329June 25, 2005 at 6:12 pm #19330
you might want to check the physics on that, i don’t think that it does equal damage to the whole water area when lightning hits, i think the damage would spread out from the point of contact. also, anyone in a small isolated “pool” of water created by explosions inland should not be affected by this, but i imagine the programming for that would be quite difficult.June 25, 2005 at 7:08 pm #19331
Actually water conducts eletricity not that much better than ground. And actually how much lightning hurts depends to conductivity of medium around you in quite different way. For example, if you sit in steel shell, lighting will do zero damage to you, because steel conducts electricity well, and almost all current will go through steel and not through you. While in air (nonconductive except for lightning bolt) or on ground surface, if lightning hits you, _all current_ goes through you, and it really hurts.
Indeed if there’s lot smaller voltages (e.g. 220v) , that’s whole different story (water helps to make good connection with skin).
Also, I would expect inverse squares law to apply for underwater effects, as unlike air where you have small bolt where all current goes, in the sea current goes in all direction and if you’re far, not much through you.June 25, 2005 at 7:45 pm #19332
Given that lightning is essentially a spark travelling between two conductors – really caused by the voltage potential exceeding the breakdown voltage of air (“normal” air has a breakdown voltage of about 30 kv/cm, IIRC), when lightning strikes water, it would tend to cease being lightning, and simply become a brief current flow until the potential difference has decreased to the point where it will no linger arc through the air.
Having said that, what happens to a body that is in the water? Well, I would suggest that the same thing would happen to it that usually happens to aircraft that are struck: nothing. For example: Put a reasonably large metal tank (very conductive) in the water, completely submerged. Now, pass a current through the water, and what will happen to the tank? Well, the tank becomes a small part of the big conductor. Granted, the tank is MUCH more conductive than the water, so I would postulate that the tank would conduct more current than the water in its immediate vicinity, but still, the portion of the current that could pass through the tank would be miniscule compared to that which passes through the rest of the water.
Point to ponder: When’s the last time you heard of a ship being sunk by lightning damage?June 25, 2005 at 9:46 pm #19333
Well.. this is dating back to long ago but, as I recal pure water, Simple h2o, is not conductant very well or if at all. It is all the minerals and “debree” that give water its conductive attribute. Any science wizards wish to back or bash this?June 25, 2005 at 10:09 pm #19334
Yes Willis you are correct, here is a link with an example of exactly what you are saying.
I have actually tried this with my kids for a school science project.
but it is a cool idea!!!June 26, 2005 at 12:32 am #19335
Well, I’m assuming we are dealing with saltwater here (I think of the Scorched water as ocean), and it is “somewhat conductive”. (Moreso than freshwater, anyway)June 26, 2005 at 8:07 am #19336
*ignores teacher and falls asleep*June 26, 2005 at 4:08 pm #19337
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.