Alamogordo High School
Earth and Space Sciences
Probability of Lightning Strikes, From Ant Hill to the Sears Tower
Lightning is a powerful force in nature. Our supercomputing project will find the probability of a lightning strike at a pre-fabricated point. To do this, we will need to create a grid, or plane, one meter squared throughout. This plane will have many different characteristics, such as mountains, plains, deserts, forests, bodies of water, and a city. Using modern knowledge of lightning, we will predict the chance of a lightning strike on any particular point on this plane. Each point will have a specific electrical charge that could be changed. We will assume that the lightning could come from any point in the sky. By doing this, we will be able to control and change every aspect of our would-be world. This will be done by programming physics into the computer and thereby creating separate fields of data. If we succeed in creating this artificial world as well as the overlying storm, our storm and its lightning strikes will act true-to-life. In conclusion, we hope that this project will both further our understanding of nature, and help those who are already trying to predict lightning strikes.