In other words, light travels almost a million times faster than sound. Also, light does not need atoms to catalyst it's way through space. The speed of sound in air at sea level moves about 1 mile every 5 seconds. D Sound moves light, so when you hear thunder you know lightning will move toward you. © 2020 Morgridge Institute for Research | 330 N Orchard Street Madison WI. The reason we see lightning before we hear thunder is because light travels faster than sound! Sound does. The electrostatic discharge of lightning (the bit where electricity flows from the ground up into the clouds) IS faster than sound. Stop buying Apple's flimsy Lightning cables. Speed of Sound Sound travels at 330 metres per second (330m/s), or 760 mph. That is because light travels much faster than sound waves. Time how long it is before you hear the thunder. Immediately go to the nearest well-constructed building or a fully enclosed, metal-topped vehicle. When a lightning bolt travels from the cloud to the ground it actually opens up a little hole in the air, called a channel. it should be noted that lightning is electricity which travels at the speed of light. • Lightning and thunder are interrelated events in a natural phenomenon that generates electricity. Imagine a bunch of molecules bouncing around in the air. How do you know if lightning is nearby? A 3 second gap between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder means that the storm is about a kilometre away. This is because light travels faster than sound, so although they originate in the same place the sound takes longer to arrive where you are. ...and the speed of light = 670,616,629 miles per hour. Try these instead. This is five times the temperature on the surface of the sun! Light travels at a blistering 299,792,458 meters per second. Just how fast is it? That’s why sometimes you see the lightning flash first and then you hear the thunder a few seconds later. B Sound moves faster than light, so you see lightning after you hear thunder. Ujwal. The roar of thunder is caused by the rapidly expanding atmosphere when a bolt of lightning heats the air along its path. (Chrome's speed, previously on MetaFilter.) Faster than lightning. The reason we see lightning before we hear thunder is because light travels faster than sound! If you have light that’s going through a media, it can travel slower than that. Light, on the other hand, is not a pressure wave—it’s a fundamental particle. 1. The energy of it traveling through the air is what makes the light and the sound. HOWEVER, electricity travels through a medium like a copper wire or air, this slows it down. The air surrounding the lightning channel or pathway expands explosively and creates a shockwave which produces the sound waves of thunder. But you see lightning before you hear thunder because light, which travels a million times faster than sound, arrives almost instantly. In fact, thunder would travel much faster underwater, as atoms are closer to each other. It takes approximately 5 seconds for the sound to travel 1 mile. Our fastest beta to date... On Tuesday, Google released Chrome 5.0.375.29 beta for Windows, Mac, and Linux, promising enormous speed gains for its popular browser. Light travels faster than sound. The number you get divided by five is approximately the number of miles away the storm is. • Lightning is seen first as speed of light is much faster than the speed of sound. Watch for the flash of lightning (from a safe location). The reason we see lightning before we hear thunder is because light travels faster than sound! This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. It’s faster through water and it’s even faster through steel. 0 0. No information can propagate faster than the speed of light. "The air around the lightning bolt expands faster than the speed of sound, which creates a shock wave of thunder." Lightning travels at around 224,000 mph. This speed difference does become apparent, for example, with lightning. Sound travels at a measly 343 m/s through air. Don't Panic! • Thunder is a loud rumbling sound whereas lightning is a visual. The speed of sounds is 768 mph, so lightning is faster. As an independent research organization, the Morgridge Institute for Research explores uncharted scientific territory to discover tomorrow’s cures. Having, caused by, or relating to a speed greater than the speed of sound in a given medium, especially air. the direction in which the sound travels. I'm talking about the speed at which the lightning hits the ground from the clouds. Using your phone battery a Lightning powered device get’s extra juice that just isn’t available via a 3.5mm cable connected unit. Information can propagate faster than sound, arrives almost instantly lightning bolt faster. 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