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Lightning: Physics and Effects


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Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Incidence of lightning; 3. Electrical structure of lightning-producing clouds; 4. Downward negative lightning discharges to ground; 5. Positive and bipolar lightning discharges to ground; 6. Upward lightning initiated by ground-based objects; 7. Artificial initiation (triggering) of lightning by ground-based activity; 8. Winter lightning in Japan; 9. Cloud discharges; 10. Lightning and airborne vehicles; 11. Thunder; 12. Modelling of lightning processes; 13. The distant lightning electromagnetic environment: atmospherics, Schumann resonances and whistlers; 14. Lightning effects in the middle and upper atmosphere; 15. Lightning effects on the chemistry of the atmosphere; 16. Extraterrestrial lightning; 17. Lightning locating systems; 18. Deleterious effects of lightning and protective techniques; 19. Lightning hazards to humans and animals; 20. Ball lightning, bead lightning, and other unusual discharges; Appendix. books on lightning and related subjects; Subjects; Index.

Promotional Information

A highly illustrated book covering all aspects of lightning, including lightning physics and protection.

About the Author

Vladimir A. Rakov is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida. He was previously Director of the Lightning Research Laboratory at Tomsk Polytechnical University, Russia. Martin A. Uman was the co-founder and President of Lightning Location and Protection, Inc. (LLP) and is now a professor and Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida.


'Rarely in the history of science has one contribution covered a subject with such depth and thoroughness as to set the enduring standard for years, perhaps even decades, to come ... I recommend that you purchase two copies, one for the office and one for the home to avoid having to carry this 5 lb tome back and forth.' EOS '... should be in the library of anybody working on lightning and its effects, and will certainly be of value to students and researchers in the atmospheric sciences ...' Weather '... a closely written, wide-ranging work presented in a large, attractive format ... serves several purposes well.' Times Higher Education Supplement '... the publication of a new book with a great deal of information on lightning and lightning protection is an event. Lightning: Physics and Effects by Vladimir A. Rakov and Martin A. Uman, is such a book ... The new book by Rakov and Uman, who have both made numerous contributions to the field, represents the current state of the art. It has much greater topic coverage and much more information than other books on lightning ... Rakov and Uman's encyclopedic work will be extremely useful for specialists as a rich source of factual and bibliographic information.' Physics Today 'Practically all chapters start with an introduction section and end in a summary. This is very helpful for the reader who can either easily identify whether the chapter is of interest for him or who needs an immediate briefing on a specific topic. The quality of the printing and layout is excellent, the clear typesetting supports easy reading. ... the book is a superb reference for lightning physics and effects. Its quality mirrors the outstanding scientific experience of its authors. I recommend that this book is available in all libraries.' Meteorologische Zeitschrift '... extremely useful.' Physics Today 'This book is clearly the most complete compilation of material on the physics and effects of lightning that exists today. It is well written, and I expect that it will be an important reference for both specialists and nonspecialists alike in future years.' American Meteorological Society 'The authors of this book deserve to be complimented for their study of natural events and their efforts in writing this book ... This book is a very good review of all aspects of lightning ... it is a very useful reference book not only for people interested in lightning and thunder ... but also for researchers and scientists working on high-voltage engineering and nonlinear systems ...' IEEE Circuits & Devices Magazine "This is an extremely comprehensive - and hence, incredibly useful - scholarly compendium of all that is known about lightning, its causes, and the many different ways in which lightning influences our world and our human activities. This resource has more than 300 top quality illustrations, including six pages of dramatic colour plates, 70 tables, and over 6000 bibliographic and reference entries ... this magnificent work, so useful both for teaching at postgraduate level and for reference, closes with a very comprehensive index.' Surveys in Geophysics

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