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DONE BY: SMIT 8 th ‘A’

Some natural destructive phenomena :

Some natural destructive phenomena are cyclones, lightning, earthquakes etc . Lightning is streaks of bright light and sound caused by electric discharge between clouds and earth or between different clouds. Some natural destructive phenomena

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Earthquake is a sudden shaking or trembling of the earth caused by a disturbance deep inside the earth’s crust . Lightning and earthquakes cause a lot of damage to human life and property.

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A natural phenomenon is a non-artificial event in the physical sense, and therefore not produced by humans, although it may affect humans. Common examples of natural phenomena include volcanic eruptions, weather, and decay. Most natural phenomena, such as rain, are relatively harmless so far as humans are concerned.

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There are various types of natural phenomena, which include, Meteorlogical phenomena, weather, including hurricanes, thunderstorms and tornadoes, and geological phenomena , including volcanic activity and earthquakes.


You may have seen sparks on an electric pole when wires become loose. This phenomenon is quite common when wind is blowing and shaking the wires. You may have also seen sparks when a plug is loose in its socket. Lightning is also an electric spark, but on a huge scale. Lightning

Ancient Lighting:

Ancient Lighting In ancient times, people did not understand the cause of these sparks. They were, therefore, afraid of lightning and thought that the wrath of gods was visiting them. Now, of course, we understand that lightning is caused by the accumulation of charges in the clouds.

The Sparks that the Greeks Knew About :

The ancient Greeks knew as early as 600 B.C that when amber was rubbed with fur, it attracted light objects such as hair. You might have seen that when you take off woolen or polyester clothes, your hair stands on end. If you take off these clothes in the dark, you even see a spark and hear a crackling sound. In 1752 Benjamin Franklin, an American scientist, showed that lightning and the spark from your clothes are essentially the same phenomena. However, it took 2000 years for this realization to occur. The Sparks that the Greeks Knew About

Charging by rubbing (friction) :

Some objects can be charged by rubbing with other objects. When objects are rubbed, they attract light objects like pieces of paper. This process is called charging by friction. E.g. :- A plastic refill, scale or comb when rubbed with dry hair, paper or polythene gets charge and attracts pieces of paper. The charges acquired by rubbing are static charges. They do not move. When charges move, it is electric current. Electric current is the motion of charges through a conductor. Charging by rubbing (friction)

Types of charges and their interaction :

There are two types of charges. They are positive charge (+) and negative charge (-). Two charged bodies may attract or repel each other. Like (similar) charges repel each other and unlike (dissimilar) charges attract each other. Types of charges and their interaction

Charges acquired by different objects :

A glass rod rubbed with silk gets positively charged. A plastic rod rubbed with fur gets negatively charged. Charges acquired by different objects

Frictional order:

Wool Flannel Fur Sealing wax Glass Paper Silk Hand Rubber Amber Ebonite Plastic When any of these materials are rubbed together, the one in the higher order gets positive charge(+) and the one in the lower order gets negative charge (-). A glass rod rubbed with silk gets positive charge (+). An ebonite rod rubbed with fur gets negative charge (-) Frictional order

Types Of Charges and Their Interaction :

(a) Inflate 2 balloons. Hang them in such a way that they do not touch each other. Rub both the balloons with a woolen cloth and release them. You observe that a charged balloon repelled a charged balloon. Types Of Charges and Their Interaction

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Now let us repeat this activity with the used pen refills. Rub one refill with polythene. Place it carefully in a glass using the tumbler as a stand. Rub the other refill also with polythene. Bring it close to the charged refill. Be careful not to touch the charged end with your hand. A charged refill repelled a charged refill.

Transfer Of Charge :

Take an empty jam bottle. Take a piece of cardboard slightly bigger in size than the mouth of the bottle. Pierce a hole in it so that a metal paper clip can be inserted. Open out the paper clip. Cut two strips of aluminum foil about 4cm x 1cm each. Hang them on the paper clip. Transfer Of Charge

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Insert the paper clip in the cardboard lid so that it is perpendicular to it. Charge a refill and touch it with end of the paper clip. Observe what happens. Is there any effect on the foil strips? Do they repel each other or attract each other? Now, touch other charged bodies with the end of the paper clip. Do foil strips behave in the same way in all cases? Why the foil strips repel each other? Answer : The aluminum foil strips receive the same charge from the charged refill through the paper clip (remember that metals are good conductors of electricity). The strips carrying similar charges repel each other and they become wide open. Such a device can be used to test whether an object is carrying charge or not. This device is known as electroscope. Thus, we find that electrical charge can be transferred from a charged object to another through a metal conductor.

Earthing :

Earthing The process of transferring of charge from charged object to the earth is called earthing. Earthing is proving in buildings to protect us from electrical shocks due to any leakage of electrical current.

Transfer of charge :

Transfer of charge When a charged body is brought in contact with an uncharged body charges pass from the charged body to the uncharged body. This method of charging a body is called charging by contact or conduction. If a body is charged by contact it gets the same charge as the charged body. We can observe the transfer of charge by using an electroscope. If a charged plastic rod is brought in contact with an electroscope, the charges are transferred to the metal strips and they repel each other. This is because both the metal strips get the same charge and they repel each other.

The Story Of Lightning :

The Story Of Lightning During the development of a thunderstorm, the air current move upward while the water droplets move downward. These vigorous movements cause separation of charges. By a process, not yet completely understood, the positive charges collect near the upper edges of the clouds and the negative charges accumulate near the lower edges. There is accumulation of positive charges near the ground also. When the magnitude of the accumulated charges become very large, the air which is normally a poor conductor of electricity, is no longer able to resist their flow. Negative and positive charges meet, producing streaks of bright light and sound. We see streaks as lightning. The process is called an electric discharge.


Electroscope An electroscope is a device used to test whether an object is having electric charge or not. A simple electroscope can be made by using an empty bottle, a piece of cardboard, a paper clip and two small strips of aluminium foil. Pass one end of the paper clip through the cardboard and hang the two aluminiun strips from the other end . If a charged body is touched to the end of the paper clip, the aluminium strips repel each other.


ELECTRIC DISCHARGE The process of electric discharge can occur between two or more clouds, or between clouds and earth. Today we need not get frightened by lightning like our ancestors did. Now we understand the basic phenomenon. Scientists are trying hard to improve this understanding. However, lightning strike could destroy life and property. It is, therefore, necessary to take measures to protect ourselves.

Lightning conductor :

A lightning conductor is a device used to protect buildings from damage due to lightning. A lightning conductor has a metallic rod. The upper end is pointed and the lower end is joined to a metal plate buried inside the ground. When lightning strikes, the electric charges pass through it to the earth without causing any damage to the building. Lightning conductor

Protection from lightning and thunderstorm :

a) If you are outdoors :- i) Open vehicles like motorbikes, trucks, open cars are not safe. ii) Open fields, parks, elevated places, tall trees are not safe. iii) Carrying an umbrella is not safe. iv) If in a forest take shelter under short trees. v) If in an open field stay away from trees, poles, metallic objects. Do not lie down. Squat on the ground with hands on the knees and the head between the hands. b) If inside the house :- i) Lightning can strike electric wires, telephone cords and metal pipes so contact with these objects should be avoided. ii) It is safer to use mobile and cordless phones than wired phones. iii) Electrical appliances like TV, computers etc should be unplugged. iv) Bathing should be avoided to avoid contact with running water. Protection from lightning and thunderstorm

SAFE POSITION DURING LIGHTNING if shelter is not available:

SAFE POSITION DURING LIGHTNING if shelter is not available

Earthquake :

An earthquake is a sudden shaking or trembling of the earth caused by a disturbance deep inside the earth’s crust. Earthquakes cause damage to buildings, dams, bridges. It can cause landslides, floods and tsunamis. It can also cause damage to life and property. Earthquake

What cause an earthquake ?:

The outermost layer of the earth called crust is not one piece. It is fragmented into many plates. These plates are moving continuously. When these plates brush past each other or when one plate goes under another plate due to collision, they cause disturbance and causes earthquakes. The boundaries of the plates are weak zones called siesmic zones or fault zones. Earthquakes often occur in the seismic zones. What cause an earthquake ?



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The seismic zones in India are Kashmir, Himalayas, Indo Gangetic plane, North eastern region, Kutch, Rajasthan, Andaman And Nicobar Islands some regions of South India etc. The power of an earthquake is measured on a scale called Richter scale. Very destructive earthquakes have magnitudes more than 7.5 on the Richter scale. Earthquakes produce waves on the surface of the earth called seismic waves. Seismic waves are recorded by an instrument called seismograph.

Seismic zones of India :

Seismic zones of India

Protection from earthquakes:

Protection from earthquakes i) The buildings in seismic zones should be designed such that they can withstand tremors due to earthquakes. ii) Materials like mud, wood and light roof should be used instead of heavy materials. iii) Heavy objects like cupboards, water heaters etc. should not be fixed on the walls. iv) All buildings should have fire fighting equipments .

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Precautions during an earthquake :- a) If you are at home :- i) Take shelter under a table. ii) If you are in bed do not get up. Protect your head with a pillow. iii) Stay away from tall and heavy objects which may fall on you. b) If you are outdoors :- i) Find an open area away from buildings, trees and power lines and lie on the ground. ii) If you are in a car or bus ask the driver to slow don and don’t get out till the tremors stop.

Some important definitions:

Some important definitions Crust : In geology, the crust is the outermost solid shell of a rocky planet or natural satellite, which is chemically distinct from the underlying mantle. Earth’s plate : Any of several large pieces of the Earth's lithosphere which participate in plate tectonics. Electroscope : An electroscope is an early scientific instrument that is used to detect the presence and magnitude of electric charge on a body. It was the first electrical measuring instrument. The first electroscope, a pivoted needle called the versorium, was invented by British physician William Gilbert around 1600.

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Earthquake : An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time . Lighting conductor : A metallic conductor that is attached to a high point and leads to the ground; protects the building from destruction by lightning. Richter scale : A numerical scale for expressing the magnitude of an earthquake on the basis of seismograph oscillations . Seismograph : An instrument that measures and records details of earthquakes, such as force and duration.

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Thunder : A loud rumbling or crashing noise heard after a lightning flash due to the expansion of rapidly heated air. Thunderstorm : A storm with thunder and lightning and typically also heavy rain or hail. Tsunami : A long high sea wave caused by an earthquake or other disturbance. Tremor : A tremor is an involuntary, somewhat rhythmic, muscle contraction and relaxation involving to and fro movements of one or more body parts. It is the most common of all involuntary movements and can affect the hands, arms, eyes, face, head, and legs .

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