Hot girls know light travels faster than sound, but did you know that there is a practical, life-saving application to this fairly complex physics equation?
You may or may not remember this trick from your days of youth…to figure out how far away a lightning strike is from you, start counting. Approximately every 5 seconds that pass between seeing the flash and hearing the roar of thunder equate to 1 mile of the vicinity. How? Let’s break this down.
- The speed of sound is ~761mph
- 1 mile = 5,280 feet
- 1 hour = 3,600 seconds
- 761 x 5,280 = 4,018,080ft / 3600s = 1,116.13 feet per second
- 5,280/1116.13 = 4.73 miles per second
*Note: The speed of sound is affected by air temperature. The above equations are based on a temp of 59 degrees Fahrenheit at sea level.
So if you don’t hear thunder for 15 secs – the strike is about 3 miles away; 25 seconds is ~5 miles, etc. If you hear thunder right away, it is very close! You should seek immediate shelter whenever you see and hear the signs of a storm. Stay away from anything related to water and electricity; lightning can strike within 25 miles of a storm’s radius!
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Featured photo by Max Larochelle from Unsplash