one of most interesting natural phenomenons, lightning, through most parts
of history, has fascinated and frightened man, kept his imagination busy,
but remained unexplained until recently. Even today this effect isn` t
clearly explained and demistified. Scientists still have their hands full
of work to understand and explain some effects about lightning strike.
In the Antic era, in beginnings of science, and
there was more gods than people in some bigger village. Almost to all
nations and cultures, lightning and thunder were divine signs.
To old Greeks thunder represented one of Zeusse´s weapons which
were made for him by Minerva, goddess of wisdom.
Both, Greeks and Romans observed the sky, were frightened by a thunder,
as a sign of gods' bad will. To get gods trust, they adored and were afraid
of them. They build their temples on the locations where the lightning
stroke, which because of that were holy to them. By sharing similar believings,
Astec's tried to get gods trust by sacrificing virgins. Similar customs
could be found in many cultures and religions of old nations, and various
superstitions remained until today. In some areas even today there are
believs that the sound of church bells can make lightning strikes go away,
and the Santa´s slaides are pulled by Donner (Thunder) and Blitzen
Turnover in examining the phenomenon of thunder has hapened in the middle
of 18th century thanks to work and fascinating experiments of Benjamin
Franklin. With helf of these experimants he proved that thunder is
an electrical phenomenon, and he constructed a device that could protect
objects and people within that device.That was surely great advance, but
it needed to pass a lot of time until his ideas were accepted in science
and everyday life.
bigger advance hapened on the end of 19th century, when scientists could
for their research use fotogrphic and spectrographic devices. First man
who succesfully measured electric current of thunder was german scientist
Pockles. He measured strenght of magnetic field caused by thunder, and
indirectly from that information calculated strenght of electric current
of thunder (1897 - 1900).
researches began with work of C.T.R. Wilson who first measured electric
field to determine the structure of charge in clouds that participate
in atmospheric discharges. With his work Wilson significantly contributed
to todays understanding of thease phenomenous, and for invention of "Cloud
Chamber", he was recieved Nobel's prize.
Science has furthermore advanced in small steps until until rapid advance
of technology and measuring technics and instruments in 60's of 20th century.
That improvement brought new possibilties of study, but also need for
more efficent protection for objects and vehicles (airplanes and space
shuttles), and various technical (electrotechnical) devices sensitive
on high voltage which can accure as result of lightning strike.