General Question

piya's avatar

I want to know what type of current does lightning consist of an ac, or dc?

Asked by piya (10points) March 22nd, 2010

as the lightning occurs in cloud,..what type of current it have? analog current or digital current?

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8 Answers

RandomMrdan's avatar

I thought ac meant alternating current, and dc meant direct current.

RandomMrdan's avatar

I would guess direct current is what lightning would be… But that’s just a guess.

OreetCocker's avatar

@piya RandomMrdan is right, AC is alternating current and DC is direct current. The build up of the charge within lightning is essentially DC but the distribution or discharge involved in a lightning strike for example is AC. There are lots of theories around this, wikianswers is a good place to look.

LostInParadise's avatar

I don’t know that AC or DC would be applicable. Lightning is an approximation to an instantaneous surge. It is like the static electricity spark that you get when walk on a carpet and touch a doorknob, only on a much larger scale.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

It is DC, or direct current. Lightning is the simple transfer of charge between two electrically imbalanced regions. The electrons flow from the negative region to the positive region. For AC to exist the polarity of the electrodes needs to change rapidly, which is not possible in weather processes.

Goofykid3435's avatar

i like AC/DC its both

Bugabear's avatar

I thought it was Static electricity. Which is neither.

gasman's avatar

Piya, you may be confusing two different things because their abbreviations are similar. Alternating & direct current are AC & DC respectively. Lightning is essentially DC as explained by @FireMadeFlesh.

Alternating current (AC) comes out of electrical outlets. DC comes out of batteries. AC doesn’t normally occur in nature.

Analog & digital, on the other hand, are two different approaches to transmitting or recording information—it doesn’t apply to lightning (if I have to pick one, I’d call it analog)

But analog-to-digital converters are often called AD converters or ADCs—confusing by its similarity to AC / DC.

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