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Old 03-15-2011
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Semiconductors have a relatively low breakdown voltage. A lighting strike--even if it is not a direct hit--can electrify your wiring (electromagnetic pulse effect) with a short, high voltage spike. Once you exceed the semiconductor breakdown voltage your electronics are toast.

The only good news in a lightning strike is that it is a very brief electrical event. If you have a direct hit, you will have some serious problems, but in a near hit, you may get a weaker side discharge or radiative coupling that is too brief to heat things to the melting point, including wiring and tungsten filaments, but brings a high voltage surge that is fatal to semiconductors.
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