Static electricity/Lightning

Problem edit

Lightning is a very misunderstood phenomena. Fear overwhelms facts. The goal is to demystify through demonstration. For example, one school with an indoor pool asks people to get out of the water and wait for 45 minutes after someone hears lightning. Other school safety officers say "Worrying about lightning near an indoor pool is a waste of time, energy and emotion. Let's pick our risk management battles wisely and stop following 'Urban Legends.'"

Concept edit

The requirements of this project are to tease apart the fears and facts associated with lightning. The starting point seems to be:

  • inside a structure (grounded, grounding problems and lightning protected)
  • underneath trees (tall, short, wet and dry)
  • near water (standing, getting in or out, boat or land)
  • while in the water (swimming salt, fresh)
  • inside a structure in the water (combination of the above)

References need to be built up justifying each of the above. A good starting point is to compare a political organization (NLSI) with a scientific organization (NOAA). Initial searches have not found any deaths associated with swimming (body entirely in the water touching nothing). People have died on boats while people lived that were swimming near the boats. Statistics like this should match the experiments implied above.

Design edit

Design a miniature lightning creation system similar to this. Do experiments on models of the above structures, trees and water.

Implementation edit

A portable demonstration that can convince people that:

A policy that chases people out of a swimming pool inside a metal framed building into a lightning storm is bad safety.

Operation edit

Develop an operation manual following the guidelines of the demonstrations project.

Demo edit

Next Steps edit

  • Develop references justifying (fear versus fact) the experiments conceived
  • Design a reliable charging system
  • Design system to capture discharge photographically
  • Design system to measure damage done to human model
  • Develop references documenting impedance characteristics during high voltage discharge of trees, human body, metal frame buildings
  • Tease apart the differences/boundaries/objectives of grounding and bonding