Oxygen accounts for ~20-21% of the Earth’s atmosphere, right? So, what does that say about [free] hydrogen? “Free” hydrogen is pretty much nonexistent. Hydrogen is highly reactive and it will form a compound with almost anything close to it. Now, when you think of water, H2O is what comes to mind, therefore, where does water come from? And by “where”, I mean just that–where does water come from? Some would say water’s origin lies within the theoretical Oort Cloud.
Most researchers that have asked themselves this question, “Where did water come from?”, have arrived at the premature conclusion that water [on Earth] came from innumerable asteroid/comet impacts with our planet but we’re not talking about Earth’s water, we’re talking about water, period. Falling back on what I initiated about hydrogen and oxygen, it’s commonly known that both hydrogen and oxygen are apparently abundant in a lightning storm. Typically, a downpour follows the first crack of lightning–sometimes–and lightning has been discovered to give off anti-matter signals. With that said, what are the factors that comprise a lightning storm? We know that clouds themselves are the result of evaporation so perhaps lightning is the contribution in total mass of a storm’s rain through the production of matter. However, then, we would have to ask, “Evaporation of what, exactly?”. “Free” hydrogen, so to speak? The term “free” hydrogen generally means hydrogen in the form of
H2 being composed of two hydrogen atoms and H1 is just simply one hydrogen atom–unbonded–a lone atom. Hydrogen was the primary element in the nebula that had collapsed to form the solar system. The Earth maintains a low amount of hydrogen in comparison to the Sun and a gas giant the likes of Jupiter, which should be obvious in regards to their size. You have to realize that hydrogen–most of it, rather–formed the Sun. Also, you’ll have to take into account that the solar wind from a young proto-Sun blew the lighter elements away from a young Earth, however, enough of it remained to from H2O as well as other molecules. Think of O2 as it’s exclusively produced by plants. The atmosphere of a young Earth was supposedly more akin to that of Venus and Mars more so than they are compared to Earth now. If scientists want to ponder on what amount of our Earth’s atmosphere is currently being “blown” off into space, it ain’t hard to tell that amount is relatively small since heavier elements such as oxygen, nitrogen and so forth are way too massive to be caught up in a solar wind–at least to say, in large amounts. Visibly speaking, Earth may have the most water of all the planets but how can anyone be so sure of how much water there might be on Jupiter or any of the other gas giants under all of that thick outer atmosphere? To say that Jupiter may contain a fraction of the water here on Earth is one thing but that fraction would amount to more than what’s on Earth (by applying that fraction on Jupiter). For example, if Jupiter’s atmosphere had a water content of 0.0004% in comparison to that of Earth, on paper, that wouldn’t seem much but when you factor in Jupiter’s mass and compare it to Earth’s mass, Jupiter’s water content figure comes out to approximately ~50% of Earth’s total mass. See how math works?
No, folks….that is not the face of “Satan” or anything relative to that nature. There is this occurrence known as “sprite lightning”. In theory (yes, theory), antimatter signatures would be evident of water being “manufactured” in a region of Earth’s atmosphere known as the heterosphere, which resides just above the homosphere. Respectively, the heterosphere and homosphere are dependent upon the action of gases in regards to the distribution of those gases in distinct layers by gravity in accordance to their atomic weight. With that said, we have to take a look at atomic hydrogen as an atmospheric constituent. Gases in the heterosphere are layered according to their molecular mass, so obviously the lighter elements are in the uppermost layers leaving the heavier elements bottoming out. With this in mind (in addition to reading one of my previous blog posts about North Korea’s nuclear “threat” against the U.S.), it shouldn’t be all too difficult to understand that He (Helium), being the second-most abundant element in the known universe, with an atomic weight of 4, would be elevated to the uppermost layers of Earth’s atmosphere, especially after a nuclear detonation that occurs 35 or more miles above the Earth’s surface. The amount of hydrogen in the atmosphere averages out to ~ 0.55 ppm (parts per million) in reference to volume. At an extreme, that is very low (0.000055%).
Truth be told, above the homosphere, where the heterosphere begins, different gases aren’t mixed together all too much due to a difference in molecular masses. This is why hydrogen does not mix that much with oxygen. With that said, the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen does not create antimatter since there isn’t even close to enough energy create even a positron, the daughter product of antimatter. As far as lightning (or, the effect of lightning rather) goes, the effect of lightning is firstly preceded by a breakdown of gas [this breakdown is better known as ionization]; secondly, this breakdown is between the cloud (from which it’s initiated) and the “target” (i.e., the ground or another cloud, for that matter). After the occurrence of the strike, the gas is recombined and is no longer ionized. Mentioning this brings to mind of one high school science teacher that had made the statement that “Lightning strikes up…LIGHTNING ALWAYS STRIKES UP, DESMOND!”. This particular “teacher” always got on my last god-damn nerve. Bitch tried to fail me too but I made a B- in her class. Nevertheless, cloud-to-ground or intracloud lightning strikes do occur.
Each cloud-to-ground lightning flash involves a voltage range between 100 million to a billion volts. The total duration is ~ 0.2 seconds and the current transferred is averaged at about one thousand amperes. Typical cloud-to-ground discharge takes place between the N-region and the ground at a distance averaged at around two miles and the discharge is composed of a number of discrete strokes (or, strikes). Intracloud [lightning between cloud-and-cloud] discharge takes place between the P-region and N-region at a distance of either one mile or two miles. Imagine supercooled water (32° but not at all frozen) as the discharge path. The total time duration, transfer of charge and the length [L does not stand for length of discharge, rather the Lagrangian (kinetic minus potential energy) of an intracloud discharge with a similarity to the cloud-to-ground discharge though therein lies a differentiation of the discharge processes and this is because cloud-to-ground discharges terminate when it comes in contact with a conductor. Such a conductor would be the earth (i.e., dirt)…but intracloud discharges do not. An intracloud discharge is composed of a “spark” that moves slowly as it bridges the N-region and P-region in a time period that spans just a few tenths of a second. Now, the question you’ll have to ask yourself is whether the “spark” moves up from the N-region and carries with it a negative charge or does it move down from the P-region and carry with it a positive charge?
In clouds, charges are built up all over and so are the electric fields. In due time, these electric fields reach critical strength, perhaps a cosmic ray ionizes a path for the discharge to travel–and a result from that would be the lightning or “spark” that you see–visually–with your own two eyes. Powerful electric fields emit electrons upward at rates near c (the “speed of light”); when these electrons encounter an atom, gamma rays get emitted; and when these gamma rays “graze” an atom, pairs of particles are formed, one of the particles an electron, the other will be a positron–an antimatter positron, so to speak. Do know that when this happens it does not create water, however, insofar as rain following lightning goes, this has to do with vast channels created around lightning strokes from which quantities of charged water droplets are purportedly drawn.
In respect of charged particles [and charges, in general], let me say that herein lies a particular issue as far as charges and net charges is concerned. For an astrophysical object (such as Earth), it’s difficult to have a net charge but this is largely dependent on the environment since the Earth does have, at times, considerably large local charges. The reason why it’s easier for the Earth to have large local charges than it is for the Sun to have large local charges is because the Earth is a cold planet. As an example, when the Earth goes through a process of “heating up” (no, I’m not making reference to the hoax known as “global warming”), the Earth’s atmosphere ends up with lots of ionized material; ionized material means free electrons and once you end up with free electrons, there is no build up of any charge. This all occurs at a local level and this is why you’ll have more static electricity charge on a cold, dry day than you would on a hot and humid one. If those electrons are “tied” or bound to atoms, they are not free and therefore you can have a very large build up of a charge, however, if those electrons are “free”–not bound to any atoms (such as in most metals where electrons are not bound to an atom)–then you’ll find a difficulty in building up a charge or even maintaining any charge that has been built up. If that’s the case, you’ll need some material that has less of a charge mobility once the charge has been built up. Ever wonder why zinc oxide is more preferred than mercury in the production of semiconductors? Well, now you have an idea as to why. Placing two metals in mercury just won’t work since you’ll need to place them in some medium without free electrons in order to build up a charge. Reducing mobility in electrons is key. Put two metals together, you’ll get no current flowing through them. In order for a current to form and flow through two or more pieces of metal you’ll have to connect those pieces to some substance that’ll permit ions to move in the opposite direction. This will only work if the substance that moves a charge through the fluid (let’s say, zinc…as in zinc fluidity) is a substance that contains electrons bound to its ions seeing how electrons that are bound to ions move a lot less slower than electrons that are free from atoms/ions.
With this in mind, hydrogen and oxygen need little heat to bond together. Moreover, a chemical reaction occurs only on the exterior of an atom with the electrons, however, the nucleus of the atom remains “untouched”, so to speak. The electrons around the nucleus change positions and create a structure, locking two or more atoms in a bond. As far as where the water here on Earth came from goes, I highly doubt lightning has anything to do with it and this can just about be positively confirmed by having an understanding that chemical reactions from lightning in the air and how any theory speculating that lightning can form “new matter” goes against the first law of thermodynamics. Rather, lightning is a process that permits rainfall. Electrostatic field generation requires development of positive and negative charge “realms” separated by space and environment [that are non-conducting] developments of large voltages with “late-stage” formation of lightning. The Earth’s magnetic field favors separation of positively from negatively charged droplets in clouds. Each droplet consists of nearly a million water molecules. Charged elements would be about a million hydronium cations and bicarbonate anions and a substantially few carbonate divalent anions. Distribution varies from droplet to droplet and your more charged droplets migrate in the magnetic field, moving away from oppositely charged water droplets when the cloud rises in a more lateral direction. Rate of rise [R] and lateral direction [ld] could possibly play a role in the magnitude in the electrostatic charge development, aside from the separation [of droplets]. There might be a relationship between the lateral direction and speed of cloud as far as the magnitude of thunderstorms.
Droplet separation operates on the basis of net charge causing repulsion of droplets from one another on an electrostatic “principle”, allowing ~4% water content of thunderclouds to persist and that’s until intracloud lightning causes a reduction of that charge to permit both raindrop formation and descent of that water content. Magnitude of motion within the stability of the magnetic field should supply enough energy that’s necessary for electrostatic voltage development; net droplet charge development can be seen as being mediated in part by both motion and photon-activation-upon-electrons causing the liberation of those electrons from being bound by atoms and allowing them to migrate to either another water droplet or directly down to the earth inasmuch as this “behavior” is the same for lightning strikes to Earth since electrons “moved to the ground” would necessitate the electrostatic charge.
References and Sources
Title: “All About Lightning”, Dover, 1986.
Author: Uman, M.
Title: “Streamers, sprites, leaders, lightning: from micro- to macroscales”, Nov. 13th, 2008.
Authors: Ute Ebert, Davis D. Sentman
Author: Matt Heavner