Principles of Lightning Physics

Principles of Lightning Physics

Vladislav Mazur


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Principles of Lightning Physics presents and discusses the most up-to-date physical concepts that govern many lightning events in nature, including lightning interactions with man-made structures. Historically, lightning research has been the science of observations, using continuously improving tools. The quality of new lightning observations and measurements has greatly improved during the past 30 years, due to newly developed tools, technology and techniques. Significant progress has also been achieved in the physical understanding of lightning processes during the same period. This book presents the current understanding of lightning physics at a level suitable for researchers, advanced students and well-educated lightning enthusiasts.

The author's approach to understanding lightning – to seek out, and show what is common to all lightning flashes – is illustrated by an analysis of each type of lightning and the multitude of lightning-related features. Using this approach, the book examines the work that has gone into the development of new physical concepts, and provides critical evaluations of the existing understanding of the physics of lightning and the lexicon of terms and definitions presently used in lightning research. While referring to the influence of plasma physics in many parts of the book, it also shows that the principles of lightning physics, based on the laws of electrostatics, are sufficient for the interpretation of most lightning features observed and measured during field studies in nature.