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← 08-02 Lightning

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Showing Revision 1 created 07/31/2012 by Amara Bot.

  1. Being alive today, you probably know that lightening is a form of electricity.
  2. But this wasn't obvious in the 18th century.
  3. If you were this green-haired person here watching houses get struck by lightening,
  4. you'd probably think, "What is this thing?"
  5. Let's go back to the professor to get some more context on this situation.
  6. [Professor Lucio Fregonese, University of Pavia] Before the explosion of electrical studies
  7. in the 18th century, lightening was interpreted as an explosion of sulfur, sulfurous matter
  8. coming from the earth.
  9. But people started to realize some analogies between lightening and electricity.
  10. Benjamin Franklin was not the first to think about that analogy.
  11. It was already present in science.
  12. For example, a French scientist wrote down a list of analogies
  13. between lightening and artificial electricity,
  14. but it was Benjamin Franklin to stress the analogy.
  15. One of the most evident effects you'll see studying electricity are attraction and repulsion.
  16. So, there are interactions between electrified bodies.
  17. There is a quantity called electrical charge,
  18. which is one of the quantities involved in the phenomenon.
  19. The bigger the charge, the stronger the effect in the same conditions.
  20. The analogy with gravity is very clarifying.
  21. It looks like we have our work cut out for us,
  22. but with the help of Benjamin Franklin,
  23. it looks like we may be able to answer this question--what is lightening?
  24. And we might even be able to prevent it from hitting our churches, houses and other buildings.
  25. Now, if you've ever rubbed your feet on the carpet
  26. and then touched your finger to your friends,
  27. you might have noticed a little spark.
  28. That spark is electricity.
  29. It was Franklin's idea that this spark was the same as this giant spark in the sky
  30. and that both were a form of electricity.