2027: "Lightning Distance"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
orthogon
Posts: 2985
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 7:52 am UTC
Location: The Airy 1830 ellipsoid

Re: 2027: "Lightning Distance"

Postby orthogon » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:51 am UTC

Sableagle wrote:
orthogon wrote:
Sableagle wrote:Ohm y God. Okay, fine. Let's amp up the puns.

Current puns? Mmmm...

Another thing everybody knows about lightning is that it doesn't strike twice in the same place. So that helps a bit by telling you where it isn't. (Actually I think we're back to the nonblack nonravens, aren't we?)


Between the "giant ball rolling over the landscape" model for where it can hit and the videos of thunderstorms from space, that can't be true over any long time period. Maybe it's true within millisecond time frames.


Yes, it's odd that it even became a meme, since there must be church steeples and other pointy and tall structures that have been hit over and over again. Perhaps it's more of a comment on the nature of the real numbers: no two physical quantities are ever exactly identical. (Of course, quantum mechanics blows that idea out of the water).
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

DanD
Posts: 313
Joined: Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:42 am UTC

Re: 2027: "Lightning Distance"

Postby DanD » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:50 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:
Sableagle wrote:
orthogon wrote:
Sableagle wrote:Ohm y God. Okay, fine. Let's amp up the puns.

Current puns? Mmmm...

Another thing everybody knows about lightning is that it doesn't strike twice in the same place. So that helps a bit by telling you where it isn't. (Actually I think we're back to the nonblack nonravens, aren't we?)


Between the "giant ball rolling over the landscape" model for where it can hit and the videos of thunderstorms from space, that can't be true over any long time period. Maybe it's true within millisecond time frames.


Yes, it's odd that it even became a meme, since there must be church steeples and other pointy and tall structures that have been hit over and over again. Perhaps it's more of a comment on the nature of the real numbers: no two physical quantities are ever exactly identical. (Of course, quantum mechanics blows that idea out of the water).


The spire of the empire state building gets hit 20 or so times a year. And has been hit 8 times in 24 minutes. So yeah, not sure why that's a saying.

I also saw recently what looked like one lightning strike using the ionization path of an immediately preceeding one for the lower half of it's path, although I won't swear to it. (The first bolt was purely vertical from my perspective, the second one traveled a long way sideways before continuing down. But they might have been miles apart in depth, no way to estimate).

rmsgrey
Posts: 3448
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: 2027: "Lightning Distance"

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:00 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:It could hit another planet in the same place.


But, considering the size of space, and how much of it is planet, the odds are, quite literally, astronomical...

User avatar
Archgeek
Posts: 199
Joined: Wed May 02, 2007 6:00 am UTC
Location: Central US
Contact:

Re: 2027: "Lightning Distance"

Postby Archgeek » Fri Aug 03, 2018 3:00 pm UTC

DanD wrote:
orthogon wrote:
Sableagle wrote:
orthogon wrote:
Sableagle wrote:Ohm y God. Okay, fine. Let's amp up the puns.

Current puns? Mmmm...

Another thing everybody knows about lightning is that it doesn't strike twice in the same place. So that helps a bit by telling you where it isn't. (Actually I think we're back to the nonblack nonravens, aren't we?)


Between the "giant ball rolling over the landscape" model for where it can hit and the videos of thunderstorms from space, that can't be true over any long time period. Maybe it's true within millisecond time frames.


Yes, it's odd that it even became a meme, since there must be church steeples and other pointy and tall structures that have been hit over and over again. Perhaps it's more of a comment on the nature of the real numbers: no two physical quantities are ever exactly identical. (Of course, quantum mechanics blows that idea out of the water).


The spire of the empire state building gets hit 20 or so times a year. And has been hit 8 times in 24 minutes. So yeah, not sure why that's a saying.

I also saw recently what looked like one lightning strike using the ionization path of an immediately preceeding one for the lower half of it's path, although I won't swear to it. (The first bolt was purely vertical from my perspective, the second one traveled a long way sideways before continuing down. But they might have been miles apart in depth, no way to estimate).

Sounds likely, if you ask me. A stepped leader coming from another cloud that encounters a nice pre-ionized path will totally use it rather than keep ionizing its own way down. It'll probably branch off it towards the bottom, though, as the ground there will no longer be as positively-charged as it was before the previous discharge.
"That big tube down the side was officially called a "systems tunnel", which is aerospace contractor speak for "big tube down the side."

x7eggert
Posts: 92
Joined: Tue May 13, 2014 6:55 pm UTC

Re: 2027: "Lightning Distance"

Postby x7eggert » Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:27 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:
orthogon wrote:Another thing everybody knows about lightning is that it doesn't strike twice in the same place. So that helps a bit by telling you where it isn't. (Actually I think we're back to the nonblack nonravens, aren't we?)


Between the "giant ball rolling over the landscape" model for where it can hit and the videos of thunderstorms from space, that can't be true over any long time period. Maybe it's true within millisecond time frames.


Actually a flash will pause for (fractions of?) milliseconds, so it does strike multiple times in the same place within a second.

rmsgrey wrote:You forget that the entire planet is moving ~390 km every second (relative to the cosmic microwave background) so there's less than a minute before lightning can't hit in the same place again while also hitting somewhere on the Earth's surface...


There is no global space, so earth's quasi-inertial coordinates are mostly good enough to measure time and relative dimensions in space.

orthogon wrote:Yes, it's odd that 8lightning does not strike twice] even became a meme, since there must be church steeples and other pointy and tall structures that have been hit over and over again. Perhaps it's more of a comment on the nature of the real numbers: no two physical quantities are ever exactly identical. (Of course, quantum mechanics blows that idea out of the water).


These structures will start a flash instead of being hit by a flash.


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Muswell and 20 guests