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Old 03-26-2014, 12:24 PM   #91
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Your car is a Faraday cage. So if you are inside your car, even if it got hit by lightening, provided you aren't touching the metal of the car, you won't be electrocuted by the lightening.
That would be true to an extent if the car was made completely of metal and constructed in a way to allow electrons to move freely along the outside of the vehicle without penetrating the vehicle.
Most cars would fail this test miserably.
Faraday cages can do little if anything to protect from a direct lightning strike.

The only protection a car can provide from a direct lightning strike is the tires. They insulate the vehicle from the ground and do not allow the current to pass through the vehicle frame.
There is also a small degree of physical protection from the heat itself.
But make no mistake.
If lightning were to hit your car directly and you are inside the car, the chance of death is very high. The keyword is "direct strike".

I would rather be in a car during a lightning storm than being outside in it. But given the choice and knowing the magnitude of a lightning strike, I would prefer to be inside my house away from any windows.

If the car was a good faraday cage, you would not be able to use your cell phone in it.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:11 PM   #92
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RB, I was taught, when I studied physics, that a car is a Faraday cage. Of course, that was a long time ago and there wasn't as much plastic in the cars. Maybe someone here who is more up to date on this stuff could verify or refute what RB wrote about Faraday cages and cars.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:18 PM   #93
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A Farady cage would would absolutely make it so your phone would not work in your car.
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Old 03-26-2014, 02:41 PM   #94
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Okay, I Googled. It seems that a car is a partial Faraday cage. Also, cell phones work better when they are closer to the windows.

Vehicles and Lightning - National Lightning Safety Institute
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:33 PM   #95
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Edward Snowden had some Chinese lawyers put their cell phones in the fridge so, when meeting with him, there couldn't be any eavesdropping.

But this guy proved Snowden wrong. OR there just weren't any cocktail shakers available at that meeting.


Edward Snowden: Can a Refrigerator Function as a Faraday Cage? | MAKE

Full disclosure from the NYT piece referenced:
"Although not all fridges function this way, those constructed with more metal have the potential to serve this purpose."
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:36 PM   #96
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When we lived in Texas, we lived in a large trailer. One night there was a bad storm right overhead. A lightening strike hit the trailer. The next morning we went out to look. The whole side of the trailer starting at the top where the electrical was connected to the pole and all the way to the tires, was burnt and cut by the strike. Part of the tires were melted into the ground. I am still not sure what a Faraday Cage is, but I will assume we were in one that night. And I am forever grateful for those tires on that trailer.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:40 PM   #97
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Addie, first off, glad you were OK. That must have been very scary.

Just because something protects you from a lightning strike does not make it a Faraday cage, so your assumption that you were in one is not necessarily true.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:46 PM   #98
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Addie, first off, glad you were OK. That must have been very scary.

Just because something protects you from a lightning strike does not make it a Faraday cage, so your assumption that you were in one is not necessarily true.
Like I said, I am still not sure what a Faraday Cage is.
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Old 03-26-2014, 03:55 PM   #99
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Like I said, I am still not sure what a Faraday Cage is.
Exactly, which is why I was mentioning that your assumption is not a sound one
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Old 03-27-2014, 11:35 AM   #100
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When we lived in Texas, we lived in a large trailer. One night there was a bad storm right overhead. A lightening strike hit the trailer. The next morning we went out to look. The whole side of the trailer starting at the top where the electrical was connected to the pole and all the way to the tires, was burnt and cut by the strike. Part of the tires were melted into the ground. I am still not sure what a Faraday Cage is, but I will assume we were in one that night. And I am forever grateful for those tires on that trailer.
Glad you guys were okay.

Since the destruction started at the top of the electrical service, it is entirely possible you did not receive a direct strike. Since you are alive to tell us this, I must assume it was not a direct strike.
The lightning most likely hit the tallest structure in your immediate area. Could have been the pole that serves your dwelling.

This would be evident by the destruction of the electrical service entering the dwelling.
I am afraid that if the lightning had hit the trailer directly, the trailer most like would be destroyed.

Most strikes reported are not actually direct strikes. They are reports from people close by that feel and see the effect of the strike.
Those that live through this, in large part not directly hit by lightning.

Here ya go Addie. A description of a Faraday cage. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage
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