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The Lightning Rod.


The purpose of the lightning rod is not to “attract” lightning but to offer an easy path to the ground. The long, thin rod was originally developed by Benjamin Franklin in the late 1740’s. It’s a slender rod, less than an inch in diameter and has a pointed end. The rod is connected to a thick copper or aluminum wire which in turn is attached to a grid or ground rod buried in the ground nearby. Lightning rod systems are designed to dissipate electrical energy from structures. If they are struck under extreme conditions, the electrical current generated would travel down the wire and be safely dispersed in the ground.

Lightning tends to jump around when it strikes. Sometimes it strikes and then jumps to seek an easier path to the ground. If the strike occurs near a lightning rod, the lightning will jump to it and be dispersed before more damage is done.

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