Striking a Car with Lightning
Name: Jon G.
Date: February 2004
I am writing to you from the BBC in London, I am researching into what would happen if you were
to strike a car with a bolt of lightning?
As I can see from your question and answer pages there are a lot of ideas of what may happen
and what is and is not safe. The production that i work on is called Top Gear and is the
biggest car show in the country and now rapidly being sold all across the world. I wonder
if you could point me in the right direction to where I can find anyone who can generate a
bolt a lightning that can be aimed towards a car whilst we have one of our presenters sitting
in it. This experiment not only makes good watchable television but also answers a lot of
people asking the question (what would happen if?)
Good Morning Jon -
I would suggest that you explore those who are experimenting with Tesla coils. I know there
are some very serious amateur groups that make amazing lightning displays. You might want to
a real dummy to ride for your experiment and your recording equipment may well be at risk.
With that much electricity around the potential of induced currents in sensitive circuits is
significant. Use your old cameras.
Sounds like a fun project, but use prudent caution.
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Update: June 2012