In nitrogen cycle it’s stated that the thunder can change N2 in the air into nitrates. How can we explain this? I mean, how can thunder (it’s a kind of sonic shockwave that usually within a bolt of lightning, I think) change nitrogen into nitrates in the air? How’s the process?
it’s lightning that does it, not thunder. the immense energy is enough to break through the activation energy of the reaction of nitrogen oxidation. but be aware, that this only a minor source. the same thing happens on a much larger scale in the upper stratosphere with UV light as a catalyst.