# Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn’t zigzag?

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1. 62
swedalposted 13 years ago

Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn’t zigzag?

2. 58
BaliMermaidposted 13 years ago

You are kidding right?

Or is this one of those questions on the Menza test?

The speed of light is the speed of light!  Right?  I am sure, are you?
If you're question was serious, and not a trick question, then your question was misstated.

The speed of light is always the same.
The amount of time it takes an electric discharge to travel from point a to point b will always be effected by the path it takes, that being the path of least resistance to it's contact with the ground.

I hope that my answer is correct, without incorrect assumptions.
I hate the word assume. It always makes an ASS of U and ME.

Have a great day.

3. 66
Tusitala Tomposted 13 years ago

No, I must admit I've never wondered about that.  Hadn't even crossed my mind, actually.   But like the BaliMermaid, I'm assuming it does jump from one point to another at the speed of light  (there's that word again...assume)  But as one thinks about it, maybe not.  I suspect it might be slower than that due to it having to overcome a certain amount of resistance through atmosphere.   Maybe some Atmospheric boffin out their can elucidate?...

4. 60
MickSposted 13 years ago

Nope, waste of time, the speed of light is the speed of light, it would just have less distance to travel by travelling in one straight line.

5. 0
Butch Newsposted 13 years ago

The speed of lightning is always the speed of light.  How long the path is will increase the time but the speed is always the same... like a car going 60mph will take longer on a longer road, but it's still going 60mph.  And the duration of lightning is not dependent upon it's speed... it has to do with the number of electrons transferred.

Lighting travels up, not down.  When you see the light the electron transfer is complete and the light is caused by the electrons of the air falling back into their orbits.

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Dave Mathewsposted 13 years ago

The question is irrelivant. The speed of light is what it is.

7. 0
JASON NICHOLSposted 13 years ago

Have you seen the movie TRON LEGACY? In that movie it is shown that vehicles travel with the speed of light. And yes speed of lighting cannot be straight! Speed of light was, is and will remain the speed of light.

8. 60
F.B. Spanniganposted 13 years ago

I agree with BaliMermaid. It would still be the same!

9. 81
japtakerposted 13 years ago

Lightning, if it did not zig-zag, would actually go at the speed of dark, quite in opposition to what many have said here today.

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