Atmospheric Electrostatics

Atmospheric Electrostatics


Author:
Lars Wahlin
Published in: John Wiley & Sons Inc. INC.
Release Year: 1989
ISBN: 978-0471912026
Pages: 143
Edition: First Edition
File Size: 1 MB
File Type: pdf
Language: English



Description of Atmospheric Electrostatics


Static electricity became a fashionable science in the early 1700 century and several investigators drew a parallel between the sparks produced in the laboratories to that of lightning and thunder produced during foul weather. It is surprising, however, that even today with our highly advanced technology in electronics and space science we still do not know what causes thunderclouds to charge. The purpose of this book is to give a general overview of atmospheric electricity and to discuss several proposed charging mechanisms including recent important discoveries in atmospheric electrochemistry. 
The aspects of atmospheric electrochemistry become important when we realize that the atmosphere, due to the constant bombardment of cosmic rays, is ionized and behaves very much like an electrolyte. Electrochemical potentials are produced on material surfaces that are exposed to our ionized atmosphere and are as common as contact potentials generated when dissimilar conducting materials touch each other. 
Atmospheric Electrostatics book is not a review of the most current publications on atmospheric electricity but serves as an overview of the basic problems still at large and the purpose is to try to inspire new fresh blood into the oldest field of electricity. Two excellent textbooks are recommended for those interest in a detailed picture of the electrical structure of our atmosphere: H. Israel, Atmospheric Electricity Vol. 1, A970), and Vol.2 1973. J.A. Chalmers, Atmospheric Electricity, A957). The author is thankful to the Burndy Library; The High Voltage Research Institute, Uppsala University, Sweden and the High Voltage Laboratory, T.U. Munchen for supplying historic illustrations.

Content of Atmospheric Electrostatics



CHAPTER 1 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND 1
1.1 PRIMITIVE BELIEFS 1
1.2 EARLY ELECTROSTATICS 2
1.3 FRANKLIN VERSA NOLLET 5
1.4 THE LIGHTNING ROD 6
1.5 LATER DEVELOPMENTS 9
CHAPTER 2 THE ELECTRIC STRUCTURE OF THE
ATMOSPHERE 15
2.1 IONS 15
2.2 THE FAIRWEATHER ELECTRIC FIELD 21
2.3 THE AIR TO EARTH CURRENT 25
2.4 POINT DISCHARGE CURRENTS 26
2.5 PRECIPITATION CURRENTS 27
2.6 LIGHTNING CURRENTS 29
2.7.1 THE ELECTRIC BUDGET 29
2.7.2 THE GLOBAL THUNDERSTORM CIRCUIT 30
2.7.3 THE ELECTROCHEMICAL MECHANISM 32
CHAPTER 3 CHARGING MECHANISMS 35
3.1 SUMMARY 35
3.2 CONTACT CHARGING 37
3.3 ELECTROCHEMICAL CHARGING 43
3.4.1 OTHER CHARGING PROCESSES 52
3.4.2 THE ELSTER-GEISEL PROCESS. 53
3.4.3 THE WILSON EFFECT 54
3.4.4 DIFFUSION CHARGING 55
3.4.5 FREEZING POTENTIALS 56
CHAPTER 4 THE THUNDERCLOUD 57
4.1 THERMAL DYNAMICS 57
4.2 THE ENERGY OF THUNDERSTORMS 59
4.3 THE ELECTRICAL ENERGY IN THUNDERSTORMS 59
4.4 THE LIGHTNING DISCHARGE 61
4.5 PROTECTION AGAINST LIGHTNING 67
4.6 THE ELECTRIC CHARGING OF CLOUDS 70
4.7.1 BALL LIGHTNING 75
4.7.2 THE QUANTUM MODEL 76
4.7.3 THE STANDING WAVE MODEL 76
4.7.4 THE RING CURRENT MODEL 77
4.7.5THE PINCH EFFECT 78
CHAPTER 5 FAIRWEATHER PHENOMENA 83
5.1 EXPERIMENTS AND OBSERVATIONS 83
5.2.1 EXHAUST CHARGING 88
5.2.2 VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS 89
5.2.3 EARTHQUAKE LIGHT 90
5.3 BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS 92
5.4 THE ELECTRODE EFFECT 96
5.5 INTERPLANETARY STATIC ELECTRICITY 98
CHAPTER 6 INSTRUMENTATION 99
6.1 MEASUREMENTS 99
6.2 ELECTRIC FIELD MEASUREMENTS 99
6.3 THE ELECTROMETER 101
6.4 THE FIELD MILL 103
6.5 ELECTROMAGNETIC DETECTION 104
6.6 THE FUTURE 106
CHAPTER 7 MEASUREMENTS 109
7.1 RESULT OF FAIR-WEATHER MEASUREMENTS 109
7.2 MEASURING TECHNIQUES 110
7.3 RELIABILITY OF MEASUREMENTS 111
7.4 RESULTS 112
7.5 APPENDIX 120
REFERENCES 109
INDEX 113
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