Calculating distance

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Calculating distance

Post  taixyz1992 on Fri Dec 31, 2010 6:51 am

A flash of lightning, followed after some seconds by a rumble of thunder is, for many people, the first illustration of the fact that sound travels significantly slower than light. Using this difference, one can estimate how far away the bolt of lightning is by timing the interval between seeing the flash and hearing thunder. The speed of sound in dry air is approximately 343 m/s or 1,127 feet per second or 768 mph (1,236 km/h) at 20C (68 F).[4]

The speed of light is high enough that it can be taken as infinite in this calculation because of the relatively small distance involved. Therefore, the lightning is approximately one kilometer distant for every 2.9 seconds that elapse between the visible flash and the first sound of thunder (or one mile for every 4.6 seconds). In the same five seconds the light could have travelled the same distance as circling the globe 37 times. Thunder is seldom heard at distances over 20 kilometers (12 miles).[5] A flash of lightning and a simultaneous sharp "crack" of thunder, a thundercrack, therefore indicates that the lightning strike was very near.


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Re: Calculating distance

Post  heroisthai on Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:36 am

The speed of light is high enough that it can be taken as infinite in this calculation because of the relatively small distance involved. Therefore, the lightning is approximately one kilometer distant for every 2.9 seconds that elapse between the visible flash and the first sound of thunder (or one mile for every 4.6 seconds). In the same five seconds the light could have travelled the same distance as circling the globe 37 times. Thunder is seldom heard at distances over 20 kilometers (12 miles).[5] A flash of lightning and a simultaneous sharp "crack" of thunder, a thundercrack, therefore indicates that the lightning strike was very near.








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Re: Calculating distance

Post  tranthuongbn on Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:04 pm

These routes usually began in the Far East or down river from Madhya Pradesh with transshipment via historic Bharuch (Bharakuccha), traversed past the inhospitable coast of today's Iran then split around Hadhramaut into two streams north into the Gulf of Aden and thence into the Levant, or south into Alexandria via Red Sea ports such as Axum. Each major route involved transhipping to pack animal caravan, travel through desert country and risk of bandits and extortionate tolls by local potentiates.

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Re: Calculating distance

Post  heroisthai on Thu Jan 13, 2011 7:48 pm

The speed of light is high enough that it can be taken as infinite in this calculation because of the relatively small distance involved. Therefore, the lightning is approximately one kilometer distant for every 2.9 seconds that elapse between the visible flash and the first sound of thunder (or one mile for every 4.6 seconds). In the same five seconds the light could have travelled the same distance as circling the globe 37 times. Thunder is seldom heard at distances over 20 kilometers (12 miles).[5] A flash of lightning and a simultaneous sharp "crack" of thunder, a thundercrack, therefore indicates that the lightning strike was very near.
The sudden increase in pressure and temperature from lightning produces rapid expansion of the air surrounding and within a bolt of lightning. In turn, this expansion of air creates a sonic shock wave which produces the sound of thunder, often referred to as a clap, crack, or peal of thunder. The distance of the lightning can be calculated by the listener depending on when the sound is heard vs. the vision of the lightning strike.






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Re: Calculating distance

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