International Journal of Theoretical Physics

, Volume 57, Issue 2, pp 388–405 | Cite as

New Physical Mechanism for Lightning



The article is devoted to electromagnetic phenomena in the atmosphere. The set of experimental data on the thunderstorm activity is analyzed. It helps to identify a possible physical mechanism of lightning flashes. This mechanism can involve the formation of metallic bonds in thunderclouds. The analysis of the problem is performed at a microphysical level within the framework of quantum mechanics. The mechanism of appearance of metallic conductivity includes the resonant tunneling of electrons along resonance-percolation trajectories. Such bonds allow the charges from the vast cloud charged subsystems concentrate quickly in lightning channel. The formation of metal bonds in the thunderstorm cloudiness is described as the second-order phase transition. A successive mechanism for the process of formation and development of the lightning channel is suggested. This mechanism is associated with the change in the orientation of crystals in growing electric field. Possible consequences of the quantum-mechanical mechanism under discussion are compared with the results of observations.


Thunderstorm activity Lightning channel Metallic bonds Phase transitions Resonance-percolation trajectory 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Space Research Institute of RASMoscowRussia

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