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Thunder shield By Amalie Okholm Kryger

Throughout time thunder has always been a fascination and frightening thing to mankind.

Today not many are struck by lightning and it rarely causes any damage, but we are still afraid when the storm comes roiling in. We seek cover from the thunder as well as the lightning and rain, but when we are at a safe distance and under cover, the thunder and lightning becomes an amassing show that many like to observe.

Thunder as a weather phenomenon is not something that happens very often, but when the storm hits the effect is so impressive that the impression stays with you for a while. You can choose to intensify or decrease this phenomenon and there buy change the impact of thunder and lightning on people.

The sound of thunder can be modified by architecture, in the way that the structure absorb sound or reflect it. It is also possible to increase the sound and thereby the perception of thunder. This field of architecture emerged together with the need to cover yourself under a thunderstorm will be the foundation for this assignment.

Thunder as a phenomenon Thunder is the sound of lightning. The sound of thunder can vary from a low rumble to a loud and sharp crack. Thunder is produced when lightning strikes. The air pressure and temperature rapidly increases when lightning strikes and the air expands do to the change in temperature. It creates a sonic shock wave which produces the sound of thunder. The sound of thunder can be used to calculate how far away the lightening has struck down. By counting the time from when the lightning struck to when the sound of thunder can be heard, it takes the sound 3 seconds to travel 1 km. It is possible to hear thunder up to 20 km away on land and 8 km on water. The sound of thunder is in average 120 dB which is the same as a ambulance siren. Thunder and lightning strikes Denmark mostly in the summer and fall when the ground is warmer then the air. statistically there is about 1130 lightning bolts every year in Denmark. Around the equator is the most frequent struck area in the world. Around there the lightning strikes around 70 times pr. km2 every year. When thunder occurs the sky is darkened by the intense thunderclouds and the lightning is often the only thing illumination the sky. This makes it interesting also to focus on the special light conditions that occurs when thunder comes rolling in.

World Lightning map[6]

Lightning strike

[1] [2]Cappelen, [3]Jodi44

John(2013)Lyn og torden [Online] [accessed:17 september 2013]

(2006) How loud is thunder, compared to man-made noises?[Online][accessed:17 September 2013]

[4] 4hdwallpapers [5]Environment [6]King,

og torden [Online][accessed:17 september 2013]

(2012) lightning bolt <>[ accessed:17 September 2013]

Canada (2013) The sound of thunder <>[accessed:17 September 2013]

Hobart(2013)World Lightning map[Online][accessed:18 september 2013]


Thunder in relation to the human body Thunder has always had an scary effect on most people, but some people like the thunder as long as they are protected against it by some sort of cover. It is human instinct to try to cover yourself from thunder and lightning, because it can be very dangerous to be struck down and the thunder acts as a warning. It is recommended that you seek cover inside or in a car if possible, if not possible you should make yourself as small as you can with as little touching the ground as possible. I will continue to work with taking cover from thunder.

Ways to seek cover in a thunderstorm



Remedies point(2012)Astraphobia [1]

Not under a tree

[1] Remedies

point(2012)Astraphobia < >[accessed:17 September 2013]

Covering I have chosen to work with minimizing the sound of thunder. To cover yourself from the sound of thunder, the sound will have to be absorbed in the material of the covering. This can be done in many ways with a wide variety of materials. Any barrier will either reflect or absorb the sound. The harder the material is the more it reflects and the softer it is the more it absorb the sound.[1] The covering is supposed to be a safe and comfortable place, I would also like to make it a place where you can observe the weather outside. This I think can be obtained by working with transparent and sound insulation like bubble wrap and channel plastic. It is my goal to exclude the rest of the world with the shield so that the experience of the dramatic weather only will be noticeable in a distorted and muffled. It could be possible to dig into the ground or create a barrier between the observer and the weather like a sail spread out over a public square. Experiments with transparent sound barriers

One sheet of 0,5 mm plastic : The sound is not noticeable reduced by this plastic sheet, however the rain in intensified and the flashing of light is blurred by the simi transparent plastic.

One sheet of 3mm channel plastic : The sound is reduced a bit by the channel plastic but it is not as effective as wanted. The sound of rain is dramatically intensified and the light is even more blurred then with the 0,5mm plastic.

Two sheets of 3mm channel plastic The sound is even more reduced and is now making a drastic change to the sound of thunder. The two sheets is also a bit more sound absorbing when it comes to the sound of rain, but the sound is still louder than normal. The lightening flash is now blurred even further.

[1] Wikipedia(2013)

Soundproofing [Online][accessed:17 September 2013]

Extract for further processing In my further work I would like to work with the aspect of covering someone form the sound of thunder, but at the same time I will like to play around with the light conditions that occur doing a thunderstorm. This I have played around with in some experiments with channel plastic to discover the way this material decrease the sound of thunder and intensify the sound of rain when it hits the material. Do to research I can conclude that there isn't many lightning strikes in Denmark every year compared to around the equator, therefore it would be most interesting to work with an area around the equator. If I was supposed to tune out all sound the cover should at least be able to withstand 120 dB, because this is the average volume of thunder.

Thunder Phenomenon  

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