This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text.
Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book
(without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.
1873 Excerpt: ...of air against another or against the earth, to
the unequal temperature of different parts of the earth's surface,
and to condensation and evaporation of moisture. 4. Manner In which
Clonds become electrified.--During clear, dry weather, the air
being a non-conductor, its free electricity cannot accumulate so as
to acquire great intensity. When, however, clouds form, the
particles of water, being distributed through the air, render it a
conductor, and the electricity accumulates upon the surface of the
clouds uutil a considerable intensity is acquired. 5. Thunder and
Lightning.--If two clouds, differently electrified, approach within
a certain distance of each other, their electricity begins to
accumulate on the sides nearest each other. When this accumulation
has become sufficiently intense to overcome the resistance of the
non-conducting atmosphere between, an interchange takes place: in
the flash and explosion which follow, we have the phenomena of
thunder and lightning. The same interchange frequently takes place
between a cloud and the earth, in which case the lightning passes
upwards and downwards. Thunder is caused by the violent
displacement of the air produced by the passage of the lightning,
and its rush back again into the partial vacuum created. The
lightning is perceived first, because sound travels slower than
light. The loudest thunder can scarcely be heard at the distance of
ten miles, and is less intense, therefore, than the report from a
piece of heavy artillery. 6. According to Arago, there are three
kinds of lightning, --zigzag or chain, sheet, and globular. To
these are now added heat and volcanic. The rapidity of the movement
of a flash of lightning condenses the air immediately in advance of
its path, so that great resistance is offere...
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