Lightning is one of the major wonders of nature, and its existence has excited people for thousands of years. However, the scientific investigation of lightning began only some two centuries ago. It was not until 1752 that d’Alibard in France and Franklin in America officially opened the era of electricity and laid the foundations for our modern electronics-oriented society. A discussion of these early experiments may be found in the first-hand communications of Franklin (1752) and Watson (1752a,b). The study of lightning has advanced from observation and speculation to include theoretical and experimental investigations based upon electromagnetic and plasma physics. The physics of normal lightning is considered by many scientists to be well understood today. Numerous details, of course, remain open for investigation.


Lightning Discharge Ball Lightning Return Stroke Lightning Flash Observation Report 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Dale Barry

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