Authors:

F. Blanchini, D. Casagrande, F. Fabiani, G. Giordano, D. Palma, and R. Pesenti (*)

Date:

2021

Publisher:

Nature Publishing Group

Journal:

Scientific Reports

Cite:

F. Blanchini, D. Casagrande, F. Fabiani, G. Giordano, D. Palma, and R. Pesenti, "A threshold mechanism ensures minimum-path flow in lightning discharge," in Scientific reports (Nature), vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 1-9, 2021.

Bibtex:

@article{BCFGPP2021SR,
    title     = {A threshold mechanism ensures minimum-path flow in lightning discharge},
    author    = {Blanchini, Franco and Casagrande, Daniele and Fabiani, Filippo and Giordano, Giulia and Palma, David and Pesenti, Raffaele},
    journal   = {Scientific Reports},
    volume    = {11},
    number    = {1},
    pages     = {1--9},
    year      = {2021},
    publisher = {Nature Publishing Group}
}

Abstract:

A well-known property of linear resistive electrical networks is that the current distribution minimizes the total dissipated power. When the circuit includes resistors with nonlinear monotonic characteristic, the current distribution minimizes in general a different functional. We show that, if the nonlinear characteristic is a threshold-like function and the current generator is concentrated in a single point, as in the case of lightning or dielectric discharge, then the current flow is concentrated along a single path, which is a minimum path to the ground with respect to the threshold. We also propose a dynamic model that explains and qualitatively reproduces the lightning transient behavior: initial generation of several plasma branches and subsequent dismissal of all branches but the one reaching the ground first, which is the optimal one.