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** ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' episode "Night". While traveling through an area with no stars, the Voyager suddenly loses power. The lights start going out throughout the ship, with some areas and items going dark before others.


* What we think of as electricity is produced by, or at least related to, the motion of electrons. The electrons themselves have mass -- very little, but some -- so they cannot move at the speed of light. In fact, they move very slowly in wires, often on the order of several centimeters per hour. Current in a wire doesn't work by moving a single electron from point A to point B, however; it's more accurate to think of the electrons in the wire as many tightly-packed balls, or water molecules, or as beads joined in one big rope. If you push or pull on one end, electrons at the other end will move almost immediately. How quickly? At the speed of the propagation of electromagnetic fields, which is at the speed of light.[[note]]In that medium, so electricity in copper wiring travels about 1/3 the "speed of light" (in a vacuum).[[/note]]
** Electricity does propogate at the speed of light, but it's the speed of light in the material that the current is travelling through (electrons do not physically travel through the conductor). Which will always be slower than the speed of light in a vacuum. It is possible for particular to exceed the speed of light in a medium, this causes Cherenkov radiation.

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* What we think of as electricity is produced by, or at least related to, the motion of electrons. The electrons themselves have mass -- very little, but some -- so they cannot move at the speed of light. In fact, they move very slowly in wires, often on the order of several centimeters per hour. Current in a wire doesn't work by moving a single electron from point A to point B, however; it's more accurate to think of the electrons in the wire as many tightly-packed balls, or water molecules, or as beads joined in one big rope. If you push or pull on one end, electrons at the other end will move almost immediately. How quickly? At the speed of the propagation of electromagnetic fields, which is at the speed of light.[[note]]In that medium, so electricity in copper wiring travels about 1/3 the "speed of light" (in a vacuum).[[/note]]
** Electricity does propogate at the speed of light, but it's the speed of light in the material that the current is travelling through (electrons do not physically travel through the conductor). Which will always be slower than the speed of light in a vacuum.
It is possible for particular particles to exceed the speed of light in a medium, this medium like this, when it happens it causes Cherenkov radiation.[[/note]]

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** Electricity does propogate at the speed of light, but it's the speed of light in the material that the current is travelling through (electrons do not physically travel through the conductor). Which will always be slower than the speed of light in a vacuum. It is possible for particular to exceed the speed of light in a medium, this causes Cherenkov radiation.


Subtrope of YouFailPhysicsForever. Step-sister to SlowDoors. A product of RuleOfCool.

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Subtrope of YouFailPhysicsForever.ArtisticLicensePhysics. Step-sister to SlowDoors. A product of RuleOfCool.


In fiction, outages - or repowered structures - often come on light by light, system by system, dramatically, with a strange thumping noise. TruthInTelevision: this is known as a cascading failure when it is an outage, and systems often power up slowly if turned on via breaker.

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In fiction, outages - or repowered structures - often come on light by light, system by system, dramatically, with a strange thumping noise. TruthInTelevision: this [[TruthInTelevision This is known as a cascading failure when it is an outage, and systems often power up slowly if turned on via breaker.
breaker]]. Usually used for suspense, see KillTheLights.


* In the 2009 ''Film/SherlockHolmes'' movie starring Creator/RobertDowneyJr and Jude Law, there is a scene where Holmes is fighting a giant man in an abandoned warehouse with the aid of an electric cattle prod. At one point his opponent is hanging on to a pipe on the wall for support, and Holmes touches the far end of the pipe with the cattle prod. Although it moves quickly the movement of the electricity (well, the magic blue sparks showing where the electricity is) as it races down the pipe is clearly visible.

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* In the 2009 ''Film/SherlockHolmes'' movie ''Film/SherlockHolmes2009'' starring Creator/RobertDowneyJr and Jude Law, there is a scene where Holmes is fighting a giant man in an abandoned warehouse with the aid of an electric cattle prod. At one point his opponent is hanging on to a pipe on the wall for support, and Holmes touches the far end of the pipe with the cattle prod. Although it moves quickly the movement of the electricity (well, the magic blue sparks showing where the electricity is) as it races down the pipe is clearly visible.


* Perhaps justified [[AWizardDidIt given the genre]], but [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX dodging lightning]] by jumping out of the way seems {{egregious}} enough to be listed here.

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* Perhaps justified [[AWizardDidIt given the genre]], but [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX dodging lightning]] by jumping out of the way seems {{egregious}} JustForFun/{{egregious}} enough to be listed here.


* ''Film/CloseEncoutersOfTheThirdKind''. During the massive electrical blackout early in the movie, the lights in urban areas go out in successive blocks, with the blackout appearing to be "spreading".

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* ''Film/CloseEncoutersOfTheThirdKind''.''Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind''. During the massive electrical blackout early in the movie, the lights in urban areas go out in successive blocks, with the blackout appearing to be "spreading".


* ''Film/CloseEncoutersOfTheThiedKind''. During the massive electrical blackout early in the movie, the lights in urban areas go out in successive blocks, with the blackout appearing to be "spreading".

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* ''Film/CloseEncoutersOfTheThiedKind''.''Film/CloseEncoutersOfTheThirdKind''. During the massive electrical blackout early in the movie, the lights in urban areas go out in successive blocks, with the blackout appearing to be "spreading".

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* ''Film/CloseEncoutersOfTheThiedKind''. During the massive electrical blackout early in the movie, the lights in urban areas go out in successive blocks, with the blackout appearing to be "spreading".



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* Discussed in the commentary of [[http://bobandgeorge.com/archives/000821c this]] ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'' strip, but averted in the strip itself. In the strip, Elec Man is shown pulling off a RideTheLightning move to get behind Mega Man almost instantly. The commentary notes that turning into electrons would actually make Elec Man ''slower'', because while electrons do move at the speed of light, they move in completely random and chaotic directions, and the overall velocity is very slow. The author also explains that despite this, light switches turn on almost instantly because voltage moves at the speed of light and stimulates the electrons in the lightbulb.


* In ''VideoGame/{{Portal}} 2'' the lighting abruptly goes out in the Enrichment Center's maintenance areas [[spoiler: after Chell and Wheatley escape GLaDOS]]. However, given Wheatley's coinciding dialogue, it's probably just GLaDOS turning each light off manually.

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* In ''VideoGame/{{Portal}} 2'' the lighting abruptly goes out in the Enrichment Center's maintenance areas [[spoiler: after Chell and Wheatley escape GLaDOS]]. [=GLaDOS=]]]. However, given Wheatley's coinciding dialogue, it's probably just GLaDOS [=GLaDOS=] turning each light off manually.


* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': Technically an AvertedTrope in the [[Recap/RevolutionS1E1Pilot pilot episode]]: everything goes out in a single moment, not all at the exact same time, but pretty close. ...and then it spins back around to Creative License Science, since the "power outage" causes planes to immediately fall out of the sky, Smartphones and computer tablets to deactivate, and a good few blocks worth of cars to stop working altogether. (Creator/JJAbrams is involved - doubtlessly a lot of twists, retcons, and outright hand-waving are soon to follow).

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* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': Technically an AvertedTrope in the [[Recap/RevolutionS1E1Pilot pilot episode]]: everything goes out in a single moment, not all at the exact same time, but pretty close. ...and then it spins back around to Creative License Science, since the "power outage" causes planes to immediately fall out of the sky, Smartphones smartphones and computer tablets to deactivate, and a good few blocks worth of cars to stop working altogether. (Creator/JJAbrams is involved - doubtlessly a lot of twists, retcons, and outright hand-waving are soon to follow).

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* During the power outage in ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'', we see the traffic lights go out one after the other.


* ''Series/{{NUMB3RS}}'': In one episode, the case involves several reactors being taken down in an attempt to create a cascading failure. The shot of the shutdown when it occurs is basically the same thing as most shows/movies show though, but it's a bit more valid then a full electrical failure causing the skyline shutdown sequence.

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* ''Series/{{NUMB3RS}}'': In one episode, the case involves several reactors being taken down in an attempt to create a cascading failure. The shot of the shutdown when it occurs is basically the same thing as most shows/movies show though, but it's a bit more valid then than a full electrical failure causing the skyline shutdown sequence.



* One engineer working on the electronics of the then new B2 bomber invoked this trope for a demonstration by having the power indication lights of the various electronics turn on in sequence rather then simultaneously from a single master switch. This was either to limit power-on current or just to make a [[RuleOfCool more impressive visual presentation]].

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* One engineer working on the electronics of the then new then-new B2 bomber invoked this trope for a demonstration by having the power indication lights of the various electronics turn on in sequence rather then than simultaneously from a single master switch. This was either to limit power-on current or just to make a [[RuleOfCool more impressive visual presentation]].

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