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An Introduction to Lightning

  • Based on detailed undergraduate lectures and contains questions and answers on the intro/basics of lightning
  • Devised for entry-level students in atmospheric sciences, electrical engineering and environmental physics
  • Provides basic background and explanation which is also suitable for the popular science reader with an interest in meteorology/lightning
  • It provides a chapter with 30 questions and answers on what you always wanted to know about lightning

By: Vernon Cooray(Author)

255 pages, 57 colour & 169 b/w illustrations, 7 tables


Hardback | Oct 2014 | #215717 | ISBN-13: 9789401789370
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £54.99 $71/€61 approx

About this book

An Introduction to Lightning about lightning summarizes the essence of physics and effects of lightning in a non-technical manner and provides an up-to-date description of the phenomenon of lightning in simple language. Starting with the myths related to lightning, the reader is introduced to the mechanism of lightning flashes and their interactions with humans, human-made systems and Earth's environment. Most of the available books on lightning are written for the experts in the field and there is a need for a book that introduces the undergraduate and beginning post graduate students to the subject of lightning and prepares them for more advanced books meant for the experts. This introductory book, which is based on a series of lectures given to undergraduate and postgraduate students in electrical engineering, is intended to fill this need. Tailored to the needs of university students who plan to study electrical engineering, meteorology, environmental or basic physics, it is also a valuable reference resource for laymen who are interested in knowing more on this phenomenon.


- Lightning and Humans: The Early Days
- Basic Physics of Electrical Discharges
- Basic Electromagnetic Theory
- Earth's Atmosphere
- The Thundercloud and Lightning Phenomenology
- Mechanism of Charge Generation in Thunderclouds
- Mechanism of the Lightning Flash
- Features of Electrical Currents in Lightning Flashes
- Electric and Magnetic Fields of Lightning Flashes
- Lightning Return Stroke Models
- Lightning Return Stroke Speed
- Propagation Effects on Lightning Generated Electromagnetic Fields
- Lightning Location
- Potential of the Thundercloud and the Charge Distribution in Leaders and Return Strokes
- Direct and Indirect Effects of Lightning
- Interaction of Lightning Flashes with Humans
- Principles of Lightning Protection
- Advanced Procedures to Locate the Point of Attachment of Lightning Flashes
- Interaction of Lightning Flashes and Thunderclouds with the Earth's Atmosphere
- Unusual Forms of Lightning
- Appendix A: How to Avoid Lightning Injuries Including Questions and Answers
- Appendix B: Advanced books on Lightning for further reading

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Vernon Cooray received his Ph.D. degree in Electricity with special attention to electrical transients and electrical discharges from Uppsala University, Sweden, in 1982. In the year 2000, he was promoted to the rank of full professor in electricity with special attention to transients and electrical discharges at the division for electricity of Uppsala University. From 2000 - 2002 he was the head of the Division for Electricity in the Department of Engineering Sciences. Vernon Cooray has authored and co-authored more than 400 scientific papers and 22 book chapters on Physics of Lightning and Electrical Discharges, Lightning Interaction and Electromagnetic Compatibility. He is the editor of three books, The Lightning Flash, published by IEE (London) in 2003, Lightning Protection published by IEE (London) in 2009 and Lightning Electromagnetics published by IEE (London) in 2012. Vernon Cooray is the Editor in chief of the Journal of Lightning Research. He was also a guest editor of two issues of Atmospheric Research and two issues of the J. Electrostatics. Vernon Cooray is the vice president of the scientific committee of the International Conference on Lightning Protection (ICLP) and a member of the scientific committee of the Symposium on Lightning Protection (SIPDA).

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