Distribution of electrical particles

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Dale, Mar 22, 2012.

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  1. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

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    Were a given polarity of charged particles to predominate an isolated body, we are told to expect the implied excess electrical charge to be repulsed to the outer surface of the hosting body. The positive voltage gradient tied to increased earthly atmospheric elevation suggests that electrons are rising toward that outer destination. But that would seem to contradict an age-old determination reputed to deem Earth's atmosphere to be of positive charge.

    I would appreciate any help in comprehending this puzzle.
     
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    The fairweather electric field of the Earth generally points from the sky towards the ground. This does not contradict the age-old determination you mention.
     
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  5. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

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    Thanks. You have aced it for me. It would seem logical for rational people to call that a positive electric field. Once that field was termed a positive charge instead of a positive relative charge, an inadvertent contradiction could plague our lore with denial of a strong negative charge upon our atmosphere.

    All that I needed was a basis for any conceivable reason for associated scientific information to have become as seriously garbled as I supposed it to be. We use the term "charge" for so many things: a charged particle never was given a charge and cannot be discharged. A capacitor's charge will leak away but if an isolated body bears an excess of a polarity it can be a pretty stable situation.

    You caught me red-handed, sneaking over to this forum in pretense of humility, or pulling the ploy of Socratic persuasion.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Er... ok. No worries, I guess. I'm glad I helped you ... somehow.
     
  8. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

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    Your use of a sophisticated technical convention seemed to solve my predicament of being at odds with everybody from all times on the technical issue because I overestimated my ability to now get the expression "electrical field" down to brass tacks. But I am still stuck after all; a poor student. The expression agreed perfectly with my perspective upon atmospheric voltage gradient, but am choking on the implication that a positive charge upon the atmosphere makes any sense.

    As I understand the meaning of "Earth's fair weather electrical field", its seems definition to matchs my notion that electrons travel upwards except during storms. In that such field strength is measured in volts per meter of elevation, then it seems that the electric field is the result of misplaced electrons that it is restoring toward their natural location aloft.

    Wouldn't that signify that it is the electrons that represent the atmosphere's surplus particles of electrical charge? Shouldn't the extra negative charge that they bestow upon the atmosphere propel them up and away from the negative charge readily conceded for the earth's surface? Rising electrons are electrically equivalent to a descending positive charge as your fair weather electric field pointing downward would seem to tell me.

    Certainly, as a run-of-the-mill slob, I can expect to fail, but I do not understand yet (after all) why it is that I cannot understand the extended survival of the age-old claim of a positive atmospheric charge.
     
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    All that can be said about the fairweather field is that the atmosphere is postively charged in comparison with the ground. The most likely configuration, I would say, is that there are excess electrons on the ground compared to in the atmosphere, because electrons are generally more mobile than positive ions.
     
  10. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    There's also photoionization to consider which is only capable of making positive ions.
     
  11. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

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    My initial euphoria from that first sentence has returned to me. Somehow. my slump in comprehension let its eloquent and absolute sufficiency escape me during a few senior moments. The fairweather field pointing down says it all, and without hoisting any challenge against the good work of generations of meteorologists. It makes that a battle that I do not have to fight. If those twelve words have not been cut into stone I would happily carve it myself after learning of its author.

    That field you mention accounts for the total electrical circumstances for the entire planet. Your second sentence is all that throws me and always will. My only concern about voltage measurements is that they tell us which way electrons go: in the complete opposite direction to that of protons that are drawn downward toward the center of the earth. (That is the one point that is "down" no matter where you are.)

    Editing: Beware of any intuitive prompting that a proton in the direction of our electric field is necessarily being pushed. It gets moved down OK, but it is pulled down from the other side. That is how our negative atmospheric charge works. As mentioned before, when the earth was flat it all worked the other way around. Now, think this about it: an electron on this side of Earth center is going to come up at us just surely as a proton would go down from such a position in accordance with the rules. That means that an electron gets more push from the other side than it gets from this side if it is on this side. That means that a proton this side of the center sees greater attraction toward the other side, hence it gets pulled down from there until it reaches the center, or comes in to a positive central core where local repulsion brings it to a halt.

    We should be satisfied that a test proton moves according to the rules and not be hyper-literal about it being pushed from this side instead of pulled from the other side. A purist rejecting this equivalency could never know parenthood.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  12. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

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    In order for us to have the predominately negative charge upon lightning, it does not matter how the negative charge of the earth compares with the negative charge of the atmosphere. What counts is the contrast between the atmosphere's electron count with its proton count. Compression of the spaces between negative ions is the means whereby voltages in the atmosphere during storms can exceed voltages to be found upon Earth's surface.

    It would be interesting to find any theory postulating how a positive absolute charge could feasibly be created and sustained upon the atmosphere of a negatively charged planet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  13. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

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    You mean like in the center of planets and stars?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  14. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

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    Nice shot. My edit should now elucidate.
     
  15. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

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    Any such action would not impact the bottom line: The whole is equal to the sum of its parts - and vice-versa.
     
  16. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    The ionosphere is a part of the upper atmosphere, from about 85 km to 600 km altitude, comprising portions of the mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere, distinguished because it is ionized by solar radiation. It plays an important part in atmospheric electricity and forms the inner edge of the magnetosphere. It has practical importance because, among other functions, it influences radio propagation to distant places on the Earth.
    Source: Ionosphere on Wiki
     
  17. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

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    For a scientist to question everything is to be true to his calling. Even Wiki should be taken with a grain of salt. (Jimmy Wales hath spoken that he favors the generally accepted story over accuracy.) Fair enough, what else belongs in in encyclopedia?

    First off, all of that nomenclature about whatever-o-spheres would be germane to folks on a completely different mission than ours, but I will keep it around in case I ever need it in the future.

    The extended heights through which the ionosphere extends suggest that if that sphere were to served me as a radioman, it would have hustled recent dots to distant receivers in advance of historical dashes if the dots bounced off from 65 km ions, and the dashes bounced off from 600 km ions. But, no matter, because the randomness to be expected for solar-excited ions would result in tiny little chips of reflected rf energy which are collectively enjoyed under the nomenclature of static. But that doesn't matter much because it is in the night-time that we get all that extended range of communication, and there is hardly much solar energy then and there to create that all-important extra static.

    Somewhere along the line it was given to me that ionosphere and electrosphere are synonymous. I hope not. I hope that the electrosphere is a bubble-formation of electrons that have already punched in long ago as representatives of the entire earth's negative charge: that is, the resident electrons that exceed the number of protons presently in or on the globe. The only fig they give to the yonder sun is repulsion from the like-polarity shared by that orb. Hence, it is pushed down at noon and up at midnight.
     
  18. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    Unlike, it seems, other denizens of this place, I am not given to relying solely on wikipedia.

    I post the wikipedia article because, in this instance, I know it to be accurate.

    You may not like how the universe works, but it is, none the less, how the universe works.
     
  19. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

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    Good for you. Am not knocking Wiki. It just needs a little sodium sometimes.


    I respectfully think it comical. What are the good parts? Why should we value rf static? Where is all the nightly sunshine? How are clear signal reflections anywhere explained in that article? What significant attribute of the ionosphere does the article treat accurately? How does it bear insight upon the material composition of the earth as it presents electrical infrastructure?

    The universe is really my favorite place! But please advise, what is the "it" that so explains the manner by which it works?

    Forgive my negativity. If its me, then maybe I am just getting a little thick. :shrug:Thanks anyhow for trying to help us.
     
  20. origin Trump is the best argument against a democracy. Valued Senior Member

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    Who is this 'us' you are refering to?
     
  21. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

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    It does not seem that, as your subsequent post suggests, that the paragraph quoted above explains very much about how the the universe works. As far as the influence of radio propagation to distant places on Earth, such DX as the hams call it, comes into effect at night where the ionosphere endures little solar radiation short of what might be reflected back from the moon. The phenomenon of reflection is readily demonstrated with the familiar bathroom mirror: For satisfactory reflection of electromagnetic energy for useful information, the reflecting device must be of a reasonably flat surface. The distinction that the ionosphere is ionized by solar radiation does not establish any usefulness beyond the potentiality for blocking coherent passage of distant broadcast band signal that would otherwise interfere with local broadcast receptions in the daytime as horribly as it does at night.

    Some day, Wiki might advance more useful insight by explaining other solar effects upon the ionosphere. For instance, when the notion that the sun exerts electrostatic repulsion upon more of the atmosphere than the ionosphere, such information might then warrant disclosure in Wikipedia.

    The caveat for users of Wikipedia is less toward any exclusiveness of its use than for reservations to be held for its accuracy and for its relevance.
     
  22. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    You can lead someone to knowldge, but you can't make them think. Or read, it seems.

    I'll quote the section on the D-layer in it's entirety shall I?

    The D layer is the innermost layer, 60 km to 90 km above the surface of the Earth. Ionization here is due to Lyman series-alpha hydrogen radiation at a wavelength of 121.5 nanometre (nm) ionizing nitric oxide (NO). In addition, with high Solar activity hard X-rays (wavelength < 1 nm) may ionize (N2, O2). During the night cosmic rays produce a residual amount of ionization. Recombination is high in the D layer, the net ionization effect is low, but loss of wave energy is great due to frequent collisions of the electrons (about ten collisions every msec). As a result high-frequency (HF) radio waves are not reflected by the D layer but suffer loss of energy therein. This is the main reason for absorption of HF radio waves, particularly at 10 MHz and below, with progressively smaller absorption as the frequency gets higher. The absorption is small at night and greatest about midday. The layer reduces greatly after sunset; a small part remains due to galactic cosmic rays. A common example of the D layer in action is the disappearance of distant AM broadcast band stations in the daytime.

    During solar proton events, ionization can reach unusually high levels in the D-region over high and polar latitudes. Such very rare events are known as Polar Cap Absorption (or PCA) events, because the increased ionization significantly enhances the absorption of radio signals passing through the region. In fact, absorption levels can increase by many tens of dB during intense events, which is enough to absorb most (if not all) transpolar HF radio signal transmissions. Such events typically last less than 24 to 48 hours
     
  23. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

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    It is hardly refreshing to see the super-detail that was written about the ionosphere for people who have no earthly use for it. The extensive description of conditions leading to absorption of rf as a result of ionization simply didn't seem germane to the support of a statement that distinguishes that broad range of atmosphere because of its ionization whether it is day light or moonlight.

    I am not here to convince anyone of what I believe. I believe what I believe simply because it is what I figured out. I am not asserting the following as fact until I have laid the groundwork for an outsider's comprehension. I am saying that it is due to my confidence in my own conclusions that I do not research my science from writings of people whom I think to be terribly confused. I am absolutely positive that the following is what I believe. No speculation about that.

    The more useful part of the ionosphere is the film-structure of electrons hoisted above a negatively charged atmosphere, night and day. Forget that I mention that because it is mere thinking that leads me to conclude it to be so. It is rather ad hominem to accuse me of being unable to think or in need of limiting my perspective to your perspective. Privately, I have supposed for over six decades, that there is a reason for the endless descriptions presented by radio amateurs in describing all the bull explaining radio propagation. Those explanations seem more to obfuscate simpler explanations that had not been available in earlier years. It does not make me a fool that I waste no time reading the works of ignorant natives delivering mere obfuscation in lieu of blessed silence.

    I ask no one to pay attention to what I reveal because it describes my belief and is not material for anyone's enlightenment. It is presented as a potential alternative for you to consider as substitute for denigrating suggestions of my personal inadequacy.
     
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