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Why does lightning pass though air? What causes the speed it uses to pass through air?

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Tom Jackson answered

Here's a line from the link I've supplied.  The link will explain what you want to know.

Air is not a good electrical conductor. But when it is subjected to a critical level of voltage, electrical breakdown of the air occurs. This 'broken-down' air can conduct electricity easily.

stormhighway.com/cgdesc.php

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Anonymous