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What is nature’s most powerful display of static electricity?
A. Current electricity
B. Lightning
C. Conduction
D. Induction

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Last updated date: 17th Apr 2024
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Answer
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Hint: Static electricity occurs due to an imbalance between the negative and positive charges of an object. The intensity of a static electricity is determined by the power it is able to deliver.

Complete step by step answer
A static electric charge can be created when two surfaces that are worn and separated come in contact. At least one of the two surfaces has to have a resistance to electric current. The effects of static electricity are widely known because we can feel, hear, and even see the spark as the excess charge is neutralized when brought close to a large electrical conductor, or a region with an excess charge of the opposite polarity (positive or negative).
Current electricity is the continuous flow of electrons or charges, while in static electricity the charges are at rest and are accumulated inside the surface of an electrical insulator.
Lightning is an easily observable natural phenomenon that is produced due to static charge. Although its origin is still unclear, it is thought that the contact between ice particles and storm clouds is the cause of lightning. The static charge due to lightning breaks down around 10,000 volts per cm. Such high voltage heats up the surroundings so much that a bright flash is created.
Conduction is defined as the movement of electrically charged particles through a medium. Objects can acquire the same static charge with the help of conduction, for example when we rub our hands together.
Electrical induction is the process of production of an electromotive force across a conductor that is placed in a magnetic field. It can be used to generate static electricity in an object by bringing an electrically charged material near it. But the power of this static charge is small as compared to lightning.

Hence, the most powerful display of static electricity is shown by lightning that is option B.

Note: The static charge due to lightning breaks down at around 10,000 volts per cm. Such high voltage heats up the surroundings so much that a bright flash is created. This flash travels faster than the sound created due to the charge transfer, and a simultaneous thunder is heard much after the lightning has occurred.