Does a lightning always choose the tallest object to strike?
If i am standing on a wide plane field, and there is a taller than me object next to me, is it certain that the lightning will strike the taller object rather than me? It makes sense since the ions of the taller object will reach the ions in the cloud faster.
Update: Well isn’t it obvious that the least resistance would come from the taller object?
in progress 0General Physics 5 years 1 Answer 851 views 0
Answer ( 1 )
No. Once some electricity is flowing then ohms law indicates that an EMF is generated across that object. So the lightning is then repelled by that object.
Another branch hits something else nearby.
I had an aluminum ladder leaning outside by bedroom window. The rain was heavy and I got out of bed to clear the gutter. Suddenly a bang and a brilliant flash of light. Lightning had hit the ladder a minute before I was going to go on it. I decided NOT to clean the gutters that night.
In the morning I went out to inspect and found a number of different scorch marks. Not only the ladder but the clothesline, The fence and a tree.
There may have been other points as well.
It means that they all represented POINTS that concentrate field. But not just the highest point.
If you are standing then you also represent a point and may attract one branch of that lightning.
But if you are lying down and lightning hits nearby, the potential gradient through the soil can kill you.