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# If you are caught outdoors in a thunderstorm, why should

## Problem 36E Chapter 22

Conceptual Physics | 12th Edition

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Conceptual Physics | 12th Edition

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Problem 36E

If you are caught outdoors in a thunderstorm, why should you not stand under a tree? Can you think of a reason why you should not stand with your legs far apart? Or why lying down can be dangerous? (?Hint:? Consider electric potential difference.)

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Solution 36E The lightning is most likely to strike the tallest object in the vicinity. Now a tree is one of the tallest objects in the area. Now, since the tree is one of the tallest objects, it is most likely to be get stricken by lightning. Hence if a person is standing under it, the lightning will also affect him. During the thunderstorm and lightning, the ground gets charged due to induction. Now at a particular point in the ground will have the highest charge and hence the highest voltage, and the charge and voltage will go down radially as we go outward from that particular point. So if you stand by keeping your legs apart, there will be a significant probability that the potential...

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