The Speed of Lightning.

Topic started by Dream on April 27, 2013. Last post by SilverGalford 1 year, 7 months ago.
Post by Dream (8,274 posts) See mini bio Level 21
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Pardon me for seeming stupid on this. I know that a ground-to-air bolt is significantly slower than the speed of light (which most battle forums seem to acknowledge yet a certain someone who will remain nameless insists that it is at relativistic speeds in his thread for whatever reason) and characters capable of reacting to one are capable of massively hypersonic movement/ reaction speeds in the triple digits for Mach speed. Factoring the amount of electron voltage in the air and planetary physics, does anyone have a clue what the average speed of a lightning bolt is?

Post by Destinyheroknight (10,386 posts) See mini bio Level 21

Edit:

I got it wrong, that the speed of light LOL!

Lightning usually move at 3,700 mps

Post by Dream (8,274 posts) See mini bio Level 21
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@Destinyheroknight: Is the "m" miles or meters?

EDIT: Never mind, it's in miles.

Post by Destinyheroknight (10,386 posts) See mini bio Level 21

@Dream:

Miles

Post by Dream (8,274 posts) See mini bio Level 21
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@Destinyheroknight: Okay, so the sources I did pull up were accurate.

But now I'm a little confused since said sources are saying the speed would be 224,000 mph, while that amount of mileage would occur in a minute with the mps equation.

Regardless, that kind of speed is barely even relativistic from the math I've calculated, if this is true.

Post by Destinyheroknight (10,386 posts) See mini bio Level 21

@Dream:

I got my info from three weather research sites and a high school science text book. So it pretty correct to me, but I not a expert in the field :)

Post by Dream (8,274 posts) See mini bio Level 21
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@Destinyheroknight: Actually, I think I might have an idea now on where some sites and folks are getting triple-digit mach speed for a bolt.

From this site (Check section saying Mechanics of a Lightning Strike):

A lightning bolt begins with the development of a step leader. Excess electrons on the bottom of the cloud begin a journey through the conducting air to the ground at speeds up to 60 miles per second. These electrons follow zigzag paths towards the ground, branching at various locations. The variables that affect the details of the actual pathway are not well known. It is believed that the presence of impurities or dust particles in various parts of the air might create regions between clouds and earth that are more conductive than other regions. As the step leader grows, it might be illuminated by the purplish glow that is characteristic of ionized air molecules. Nonetheless, the step leader is not the actual lightning strike; it merely provides the roadway between cloud and Earth along which the lightning bolt will eventually travel.

So let's see: 60 miles per second would be 216,000 MPH (about Mach 284). Still leaves the question of how the much higher speed is calculated considering (like you), I'm not an expert at this either.

Post by Yusuke52 (444 posts) See mini bio Level 16
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@Dream: The higher speed that people bring up is the Return Stroke which happens directly after the Leader has plotted a path to the ground. Simply put its the bright flash we all see during a lightning storm.

Post by Dream (8,274 posts) See mini bio Level 21
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@Yusuke52: So the bolt's actually the step leader?

Post by Yusuke52 (444 posts) See mini bio Level 16
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@Dream: Yeah the stepped leader is the actual bolt in most cases, the return stroke only happens when the leader has found a suitable path through the air.

In the slow mo videos you can see the leader(s) branching out to find the best path to the ground.

Post by Dream (8,274 posts) See mini bio Level 21
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Post by Yusuke52 (444 posts) See mini bio Level 16
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@Dream: Yeah I saw that. It was bad enough he tried to lecture Oxford on English.

I will say he is not wrong with the speed, the return stroke can average speeds around 1/3 the speed of light. But only the return stroke can get to those speeds, the leader is much slower.

The feat in question sounds more like D is cutting a decending leader rather than the return stroke. But I think he deflected lasers at some point in a later novel, which would give him relativistic reactions at best. To what level that is i'm not sure.

Not lightspeed or FTL in any case based on that feat alone.

Post by Dream (8,274 posts) See mini bio Level 21
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@Yusuke52: I thought lasers were nowhere near relativistic speeds.

Post by Yusuke52 (444 posts) See mini bio Level 16
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@Dream: Laser just stands for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. So most lasers should be relativistic at least, I think the type of laser effects it's speed but my knowledge on the exact workings of lasers is very limited.

http://www.obdwiki.com/laser/

The OBD have it worded nicely there. You can read that and get a better understanding of how lasers work.

Him cutting the decending leader is MHS. Had he have cut the Return stroke (Like I said this is the part that is actually visible to us, which is the proper discharge from the cloud/ground. I dont know how one would go about cutting a completed ionized path through the air anyway, but if you can figure that out then let me know) then you could give him that 1/3 lightspeed stuff.

The laser feat i'm unsure of as I don't read the novels, I just know some of his feats. It's normally accepted to be relativistic from what I have seen, but as I said I don't know to what level exactly.

Post by Dream (8,274 posts) See mini bio Level 21
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@Yusuke52: From what I'm reading, laser feats in fiction aren't so straightforward in labeling light speed as they depend on factors such as whatever means the laser is fired, if they can be seen, the application of real-life physics, direction, etc...

Post by Yusuke52 (444 posts) See mini bio Level 16
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@Dream: Yes, it's dealt with very strictly given the abundance of lasers in "weaker" fictional verses (Kizaru in One Piece for example). Same thing with "Black Holes" in this regard. I think it's mostly to do with how technologically advanced the Nobility are in VHD (From what I have read the technology they have is very advanced), they have some very powerful stuff when it comes to the technological side of things.

I will see about reading these books myself, just so I can gauge these feats. The guy sounds very interesting none the less.

You could ask Fang or Kage no Yume (I think they are the VHD buffs over at the OBD, but I'm not 100% on that) about the feat and get a much more refined version from them, and most likely exact numbers too.

http://www.obdwiki.com/character-profile-d/

That's his profile there. They have him down somewhere between quadruple to quintuple mach in reactions.

Post by Dream (8,274 posts) See mini bio Level 21
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@Yusuke52: I'm not disputing the fact D's uber since I asked about his abilities a while back. I just can't take Raigen's word too easily considering the issues he has had on other forums like the OBD.

Post by Yusuke52 (444 posts) See mini bio Level 16
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@Dream: Yeah I fully understand, he is known to exaggerate.

Post by SilverGalford (2,951 posts) See mini bio Level 11

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