GCSE Physics

Static Electricity

Nature often shows us the effects of static electricity or static charge*.
Static charge arises when electrons* are displaced.

In thunder clouds, friction* between atmospheric molecules* may displace so many electrons that charge builds up on the base of the clouds.

Eventually the charges may leap to the ground as a lightning bolt! This heats the air into a plasma - a fiery gas made only of ions*.

The plasma is at a very high temperature, which causes an explosive expansion of the air.
The shockwave of this explosion is known as thunder.

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