Electricity & Lightning

The Physicist
2 Min Read

Electricity is an electric current which may or may not be used for the transfer of power. An electric current can be thought of as a flow of electrons (negatively charged subatomic particles) that is caused by the attraction of sub-atomic particles of the opposite charge or repulsion of those with the same charge.

A lightning flash near the Houses of Parliament in London, UK
A lightning flash near the Houses of Parliament in London, UK

A rather graphic example of electricity is lightning, which is a massive and sudden electrical discharge between a cloud and the Earth’s surface.

Death’s from lightning are rare in the UK, but not uncommon in the USA.

The Tornado and Storm Research Organisation (TORRO) in the UK, indicates that on average there are 3 deaths from lightning per annum.

Lightning in Orlando, Florida, USA.
Lightning in Orlando, Florida, USA.

The US National Weather Service publication, Storm Data, recorded a total of 449 deaths in the USA between 1998 and 2008 (an average of 45 per year over a 10 year period); over the same period the annual recorded average for non-fatal injuries was 300 per year. The highest total deaths by State over the same 10 year period were Florida (74), Texas (28), Colorado (27), Georgia (23) and North Carolina (19). Alaska, Washington DC, Delaware, Hawaii, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon and Washington all had no deaths over the same period.

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