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The Amazing Phenomenon of Volcanic Lightning!

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Witch-Hunter
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« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2011, 03:02:24 pm »



Image credit: Nick Strobel.)

The second very important factor that makes it easy to separate these ion-types from one another? The tremendous difference in sizes -- and hence cross-sections -- between positive and negative ions.

Sure, elements have different sizes from one another in the fashion I showed you above. But ions work in a much more dramatic fashion! Let's take a look at exactly how.
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Witch-Hunter
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« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2011, 03:02:51 pm »


(Image credit: Avon Community School Corporation, Chemistry Department.)

In general, negative ions are huge, and positive ions are tiny! Why is that? You put more electrons on your atom, and they repel one another; the nucleus (with fewer protons than there are electrons in this ion) cannot hold the electrons as tightly as it could if the atom were neutral, and the atom increases in size. On the other hand, to become a positive ion, you kick electrons out of your atom, and the nucleus (with more protons that there are electrons in the ion) holds onto the electrons more tightly than before!

This means that the negative ions have larger cross-sections than the positive ions, and hence they interact very differently than the positive ions do!

Combine these things together: different mass ions moving at different average speeds with different cross sections in an environment with a temperature gradient, and there's your charge separation! And what does that give you?
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Witch-Hunter
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« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2011, 03:03:29 pm »



mage credit: Lightning over the Puyehue Volcano, Francisco Negroni / AP.)

Volcanic lightning! The above, and all the subsequent photos, are of this June's Chile ash cloud, seen both over Chile and Argentina. These are some of the most recent -- and most spectacular -- photos of volcanic lightning ever taken. Enjoy!
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Witch-Hunter
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« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2011, 03:04:06 pm »



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Witch-Hunter
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« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2011, 03:04:33 pm »

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Witch-Hunter
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« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2011, 03:04:54 pm »

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Witch-Hunter
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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2011, 03:05:09 pm »

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Witch-Hunter
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« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2011, 03:05:27 pm »

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Witch-Hunter
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« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2011, 03:06:03 pm »

And as an added bonus, those of you on google+ can check out an entire album of volcano/volcanic lightning photos here!

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/107101208158314368393/albums/5670821529794409857?hl=en

http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2011/11/the_amazing_phenomenon_of_volc.php
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Zanotti
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« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2011, 03:38:23 pm »

Very impressive presentation!
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