Confirmed: Lightning Creates Nuclear Reactions

A recent article in Nature reports that scientists in Japan have confirmed that nuclear reactions occur in lightning strikes. The researchers, led by astrophysicist Teruaki Enoto from Kyoto University, set up radiation detectors close to a thunderstorm on the east coast of Japan and discovered that lightning kicked off a gamma ray flash, then a gamma ray line, which indicates electron-positron annihalation.

From an report in Science Alert:

According to Enoto, the findings show us there’s more going on in thunderstorms than we may tend to imagine.

“Usually people think lightning can interact with electrons in atoms,” he told ScienceAlert.

“The photonuclear reactions indicate that lightning also interacts even with nuclei if gamma rays have sufficiently high energy to knock out neutrons from the nuclei.”

In addition to generating neutrons and positrons, the process observed is also important because it’s only the second time we’ve seen radioactive isotopes being naturally produced in the atmosphere – with the other example being particles produced by cosmic rays.

  • Gerard McEk

    Already years I ventilate the idea that I believe that Phosphorus is being formed during lightning. Plants and all life need phosphorus for their growth. Without it there would be no life. Lightning may have played a major role in spreading Phosphorus over the earth evenly and in small quantities. The reaction: O + N + n -> Ph. It would be a good idea if scientist would analyse the rain water during thunderstorms and during normal rain and look for Phosphorus and other elements.

  • georgehants

    Seems like a remarkably simple experiment, so why have our clever scientists not confirmed this since detectors were first available.
    To busy walking around with their noses in the air giving god like opinions I suppose.

  • Facepalm

    And how do they know that it wasn’t a cosmic ray that caused the lightning strike?

  • Gerard McEk

    You should directly collect the water from the rain, not via surface water, that will contaminate it. With nowadays instruments ‘parts per billion’ (ppb) can be detected, simple test I would say.

  • Curbina

    Ruggero Santilli has been saying that for decades.

  • Curbina

    When at Harvard University under DOE support in the early 1980s, the Italian-American scientist Ruggero Maria Santilli (Curriculum) proved that the thunder produced by lighting cannot be explained via conventional chemical or mechanicaL processes because lighting occurs within a very small cylindrical volume over an extremely small period of time. Santilli then proved that the only scientific (that is, numerical) explanation of large amount of energy needed to produce thunder is that lighting caused nuclear fusions synthesizing various natural elements. A search in the Cantabridgean libraries showed that our atmosphere at the time of the dinosaurs (obtained from bubbles of air in amber) only contained about 40% of Nitrogen. The synthesis of Nitrogen by lighting from Carbon and other natural elements emerged as the most plausible origin for the progressive increase of Nitrogen in our atmosphere to the current level of about 80%. Santilli then argued that nuclear fusions caused by lighting are not expected to produce harmful radiations, otherwise life in our planet would not have been possible in its current form. In this way, Santilli initiated thirty years of research on nuclear fusions without harmful radiations that have been recently confirmed in refereed scientific journals. In view of this origin, Santilli proposed the name of Thunder Fusion Corporation for the company owning all intellectual rights in the new fusions that are now under industrial development.”

    • HAL9000

      Doc Brown’s DeLorean time machine in “Bank to the Future” used lighting for emergency nuclear power, making it both the first decent-looking electric car and the first LENR vehicle. Therefore I propose that “Back to the Future” be the name of the company owning all intellectual rights in the new fusions that are now under industrial development.

  • f sedei

    So, if it is finally proven that Nuclear Reactions occur naturally,this is a whole new, encouraging eye opening dimension and opportunity for further research and study. And,it is also a learning lesson for those adamantly in denial that such occurrences exist. It is also a good, helpful discovery to keep scientific theory and scientists on an open minded track. The LENR phenomenon is opening all kinds of doors for new exploration, just as many have perceived. Keep it coming!

  • Curbina

    Santilli might be a crank, but is a way ahead of his time crank.