Tuesday, 13 April 2021 | 10:32 WIB

Lightning is Surprisingly Good for Soil Fertility

Lightning is Good for Soil Fertility (wikimedia)

JAKARTA, NETRALNEWS.COM - Professor of high voltage engineering at Andalas University (Unand) Padang Prof. Ariadi Hazmi says that although lightning are dangerous, they also benefits human life, including producing energy and helping to fertilize the soil.

"As a natural phenomenon, lightning has benefits for human life, despite also having great destructive power," he said in Padang, Tuesday, when delivering a scientific speech during his inauguration as a permanent professor in the field of High Voltage Engineering at the Unand Faculty of Engineering.

Ariadi explained that lightning is a natural particle accelerator that causes various electromagnetic radiation from very hot plasma caused by the flow of electrons, such as photonuclear.

He said lightning is formed when air heated by the sun rises carrying water molecules that evaporate in it. When it reaches a height of two to three kilometers, the air gets in contact with a layer of cold air.

"At that time the ice crystals formed in the cloud released static electricity because of friction," he said.

Meanwhile, said Ariadi, thunder is a sound formed by shock waves due to gas molecules that experience rapid pressure increases.

According to him, lightning produces large electrical energy and high temperatures so that it can break down diatomic oxygen into a single oxygen which ultimately results in ozone which protects the earth from ultraviolet

"In addition, nitrogen oxides are formed by lightning, which are useful for plant fertility through rain," he said.

Ariadi said, currently the number of thunder days in Indonesia is between 100 and 200 days per year with a large potential for lightning.

Unand Lightning Station is developing a system to produce lightning location images in three dimensions to get more detailed data about lightning.

"Thus, it will get more detailed data that is useful for the development of science," Ariadi said, as reported by Antara.

Ariadi said that the challenge faced in the future is how to minimize death and damage to public facilities caused by lightning.