lightning rod, a rod made of materials, especially metals, that are good conductors of electricity, which is mounted on top of a building or other structure and attached to the ground by a cable. By virtue of its position, shape, and conductivity the rod attracts lightning discharges much more readily than the building on which it is mounted. When struck, the connecting cable carries the discharge safely into the ground, preventing any damage to the building. Benjamin Franklin, in his kite experiment (1752), proved that lightning and electricity are identical and subsequently invented the lightning rod.
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Publication information: Article title: lightning rod. Encyclopedia title: The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. © 2012 The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia © 2012, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. Used with the permission of Columbia University Press. All Rights Reserved. Publisher: The Columbia University Press. Place of publication: Not available. Publication year: 2013.
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