# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: how many pieces of toast can you make with the energy in a lightning bolt?  (Read 4893 times)

#### paul.fr

• Guest
##### how many pieces of toast can you make with the energy in a lightning bolt?
« on: 08/06/2007 22:18:25 »
i can't believe nobody else posted this? So, how many pieces of toast can you make with the energy in a lightning bolt?
« Last Edit: 09/06/2007 22:00:32 by chris »

#### Batroost

• Sr. Member
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• There's no such thing as a dirty atom!
##### Re: how many pieces of toast can you make with the energy in a lightning bolt?
« Reply #1 on: 08/06/2007 23:05:41 »
I once heard that a typical lightening discharge contains about the same amount of energy as is used to boil a bath full of water!

So all we need now is a conversion factor from baths to toasts

Or put another way...

Lightening strike, typically, 500 MegaJoules (at least according to Wicki).

Toaster - two slices, let's say 3kW for two minutes = 360kJ

So that's more than 2700 pieces of toast, per bolt!

(This suggests that the bath analogy is out by about a factor of ten - but then I may have remembered in wrong).

#### lightarrow

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##### Re: how many pieces of toast can you make with the energy in a lightning bolt?
« Reply #2 on: 09/06/2007 12:21:48 »
i can't believe nobody else posted this? So, how many pieces of toast can you make with the energy in a lightening bolt?
Do you get these questions by dreaming in the night? How can you invent all of them? Are you making a sort of "competition" with someone?

#### paul.fr

• Guest
##### Re: how many pieces of toast can you make with the energy in a lightning bolt?
« Reply #3 on: 09/06/2007 19:06:52 »
Do you get these questions by dreaming in the night? How can you invent all of them? Are you making a sort of "competition" with someone?

hi. this question was asked because in the last NS radio show Chris said pop into the forum where questions such as how many pieces of toast can you make with the energy in a lightening bolt? are asked and answered..and i noticed that this question had not been asked!
« Last Edit: 09/06/2007 19:29:49 by paul.fr »

#### chris

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• The Naked Scientist
##### Re: how many pieces of toast can you make with the energy in a lightning bolt?
« Reply #4 on: 09/06/2007 22:00:01 »
That's a bit of an under-estimate. A closer number would be about 150,000 pieces of toast per lightning bolt. The energy of each stroke is 1-10 BILLION joules.

I wrote an article about lightning and thunder and whether it could power a town. here's the link:

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/articles/article/howdothunderstormswork-2/

Chris

#### Bored chemist

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##### how many pieces of toast can you make with the energy in a lightning bolt?
« Reply #5 on: 10/06/2007 10:53:50 »
If it's 10GJ rather than 0.5GJ then the estimate is out by a factor of 20 so it would be something like 50,000.

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### how many pieces of toast can you make with the energy in a lightning bolt?
« Reply #5 on: 10/06/2007 10:53:50 »