Light, Sound and Waves

Dark lightning

Stories from Physics for 11-14 14-16 IOP RESOURCES

In 1925, C. R. T. Wilson proposed that the electric fields in clouds might accelerate electrons to relativistic speeds causing the release of gamma rays. The Fermi Gamma-Ray Telescope has recently correlated observations of gamma ray bursts with the locations of thunderstorms. The processes in storms that generate gamma rays release very little light so have been called ‘dark lightning’. Near the tops of storms, the dose of radiation emitted could be equivalent to 100 chest X-rays, or a full CT scan.


is a constituent in our description of Beta Decay
is a type of Lepton
can exhibit Wave-Particle Duality
is a constituent of the Plum Pudding Model
has the quantity Charge
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