Distribution of electrical particles

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

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  1. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    You frequently express a cynical view of science, but you haven't said why, except for being turned down by Nature

    You do understand that "proper science" relies on observation, don't you? You can easily confirm this. For example, here is an animation of data collected by NOAA:


    (Click on the image if it's not playing and it will take you to the site where you can play it.)

    These fine folks who are collecting and studying ionospheric data are your tax-paid humble servants from NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center. They are working in your best interest to protect you from the harm of a severe solar event, such as the 1859 Carrington Event Trippy alluded to, which had casualties. Here is the website:


    You might want to bookmark it, since is provides a lot relevant information. Just peruse around the site and you'll see what I mean.

    There was a recent NOVA program that featured them. It illustrates the drama that was going in their office during a recent solar event, in which they knew an ejection was coming, and that it was a big one. But they needed to rank its magnitude in order to know whether to alert the service providers to take emergency measures. This unfolds in the first few minutes of the video:


    I think if you try to absorb some of this you will begin to disabuse yourself of some of your misconceptions.
  2. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Moderator

    Your posts are overloading my baloney detector.

    I struggle to comprehend how someone who writes so much can say so little.
  3. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

    I am sure that there is too much truth in what you say for me to accuse you of slander. Were I to resort to such folly it would be for me to descend more deeply into unworthiness as a foul-mouthed geek guilty of ad hominem attack.

    Thank you ever so much for your constructive critique.
  4. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

    Perhaps you jump to conclusions. Only a cynic would attribute cynicism to me as I view science: real science and following of the crowd are not the same thing. You seem a little mean to find Nature's loss to be so delicious. They could not help it that an idiot got to them before the imbecile did.

    You would have to be more specific by identifying my misconceptions. I do understand that a certain mentality is required for someone to understand some of my findings. They show themselves by implying that I have some misconceptions.
  5. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    The crowd are following the evidence. Why aren't you?

    Is that Shakespeare? What do you mean.

    I thought I had. I already alluded to your idea that negative and positive repel each other, that one charge settles at the surface and the opposing charge settles at the interior, your misconceptions about skip propagation and the causes of variation in the height and tilt of the ionosphere, etc.

    Findings? You must first find what you're missing before you can find what others are missing.

    Maybe I've misunderstood you. Maybe you've come here to disabuse scientists of their errors. If so, you've got a long row to hoe.

    So, did you look into the NOAA or NOVA links yet? If so, what do think of the state of science from those points of view?
  6. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

    Perhaps I brought some of your hostility upon myself. I did not mean that I disdain the accomplishments of scientists. I spoke to express regrets that the qualifications and specific training expected for meteorologists, for instance, just naturally are constrained by the monopolistic influence upon their corresponding curriculum. I was wrong to play the martyr by complaining that my involuntary support serves an imperfect system. Nor is it proper for me to resent the circumstances that give no heed to backseat drivers such as me. It goes with the territory.

    Nevertheless, even when on my best behavior, I seem to find so few who can disagree without malicious demeanor.

    Please consider the following persuasion.
    First: Do you agree that the entire electrical charge upon an isolated body is accounted for as the full count of excess charged particles upon the outer surface?

    Second: If you agree so far, would you not suppose that such outer charged particles got there by going from where they had been to where they arrived?

    Thirdly: If you agree so far, would you not agree that an electric field would have been involved in such repositioning of the charged particles?

    Fourthly: If you agree so far, would not such an electric field be pointing downward for a planet that is charged to a negative polarity?

    Fifthly: If you agree so far, would that electric field transfer positive charge toward the center of that planet?
  7. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    What does that mean?
    What is your gripe against the meterology curriculum?
    Which curriculum/college?
    A curriculum in meteorology involves training in various sciences. Which science is "influenced"?
    What "monopoly" are you referring to?

    What imperfection?
    What was involutary?

    Want does that mean?
    I agree that Gauss's Law is enforced at any surface element that crosses the electric field.
    "Got there" implies initial conditions which you have not established. It also mixes static and dynamic scenarios.
    You seem to be referring to a moment before and after the electric field existed. Choose your initial conditions, and go forward from there.
    You either want to describe the field induced by the charge, or the charge density at a surface element, insofar as your ideal model is concerned. As for trying to model the earth's field lines, you need to start with the observed data and work your way backwards to uncover the model that properly describes it. I think you can find models at NOAA.
    No. You are confusing the ideal point-charge model, the hollow sphere model, a dynamic scenario in which charges are moving, and the actual earth behavior, which is neither ideal, nor would we have any reason to assume that your ideal model has any bearing on the way the earth behaves, due to all of the complexities you haven't addressed, including: the geodynamo, the magnetic field, the magnetosphere, the magnetosphere-solar wind interaction, the ionosphere-UV interaction, the ionosphere-magnetosphere interaction, the ionosphere-stratosphere interaction, and the interaction between the earth's surface, atmosphere and magnetic field. In addition, the earth's surface is not homogenous, and the earth and atmosphere are not bodies of ideal charges, but mixtures of various ions.

    In any case, before you go on with this line of reasoning, you should apply Gauss's Law. Here's a pretty good video to point you in that direction:

  8. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

    Nothing is so complex that we cannot introduce further complexities.
    Such, I beleive, is a perspective you subscribe to.

    Happily, I have never found anything so simple that I could not seek to find further simplificatons. May it be ever so true that, in that we have now met in passing, that as we go off in our opposite directions, we will never meet again. If you gig me on that preposition, I will quote old Winston Churchill for you.

    To get back to the issue, I ponder a consensus reputed of some 150 years' longstanding that the atmosphere is of a positive electrical charge. In my opinion, a broader based comittee would have installed a more comprehensive understanding of electricity than what has been imposed for a profession confined to certain government work. I could be mistaken, but that doesn't usually happen.
  9. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    You mean Gauss's Law? What complexity are you referring to? Do you want to discuss it further? You can't get very far with your ideas without understanding what it means.
    I subscribe to Gauss's law as much as I subscribe to the law of gravity. Have you cancelled your subscription to either one?
    I will only gig "preposition" in place of "proposition".
    Do you now understand that your simplified model is wrong, that you are speaking of an idealization, not the actual natural system? We have already explained that the ionosphere is known to exhibit negative and positive layers. Do you understand that?
    Sorry to bust your bubble, but that's another flawed model:

    Now what were you saying about government work?

    It's the broadest committee in all of science.

    You are mistaken if you think you have repealed the laws of nature by inference and opinion, or if you simply think Gauss's and Coulomb's laws are products of government robots.

    If you want to understand the ideal model for a gaussian surface, which is what you have been insisting on, then you will have to start with science. You simply can't get anywhere by assuming that it's wrong.
  10. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

    I am alarmed that the crowd seems to find the earth's atmosphere to be of positive charge. I take that to mean that it supposes there to be fewer electrons than protons in the atmosphere. The only reason I have been given is that such a conclusion has been popular for some 150 years. That is not evidence. Perhaps you might explain what evidence leads the crowd to that conclusion. I won't follow the crowd but I would like to consider the evidence.

    I cannot figure where I gave you that idea. From where did ever you pick that knit?
  11. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    We are going in circles. When I suggested that NOAA could be considered an authority on this question, you disparaged them as government hacks (in so many words). All you need to do is to make up your mind what the actual authority is. I gave some cites to NOAA resources to help you with this. You really should be referring to them if you want to avoid "crowd" mentality. If you think NOAA or Goddard Space Flight Center or similar folks are part of the "crowd", then I can't help you, other than to encourage you to read and understand what they are saying.
    If you mean free electrons and protons, then no. If that were true there would be no ozone layer (three atoms of oxygen, with a negative charge), nor an ionosphere. (Ions are charge carriers.)

    The processes that ionize the air produce electrons and positively charged molecules, with the electrons attaching to neutral molecules in microseconds, and then the positive and negative molecular ions growing in the next few milliseconds by attachment of trace polar molecules such as H2O, NH3, H2SO4 and HNO3 to become relatively stable air ions with lifetimes of an hour or so in relatively clean air.​


    The effects of X-rays, radioactive emission (e.g. from radon) and UV light are some examples of the sources of ionizing radiation on air molecules.

    No, you have been given links to scientific authorities who can help you understand the science. Origin and Trippy have given you some good advice and information on this subject.

    I'm not sure what you mean about popularity. This appears to be a disparagement of atmospheric science as you seem to disparage the university programs in meteorology.
    Evidence is what it is. You either have to understand that, or you will never be able to distinguish fact from fiction.
    You have been given several links to some good authorities on this subject. It boils down to whether or not you accept scientific authority. So far you have been insisting it's a crowd mentality, but without giving a scientific basis for it without addressing the data, the studies, and the principles involved.
    You can't get there from here. Your problem isn't lack of evidence, but lack of trust in the evidence reported by authorities such as NOAA, and the scholars who study and report on atmospheric science. We can't help you there, other than to tell you that this is a losing strategy.

    Your other problems may lie in failing to understand the laws of nature (as in our discussion of Gauss's Law) or the mathematical, physical and chemical language scientists use to explain then. We can help you here, but you have to do a little work, to try to come up on the learning curve.
    You said positive charge would migrate to the surface of the earth and negative charge would be driven to the center. You were attempting to treat the earth as a gaussian surface, and when I tried to help you understand Gauss's Law, you disparaged it as government/crowd mentality.

    Getting back to the gist of your question: if there is a net positive charge (averaged over some arbitrary region of the atmosphere) - where did the negative charge go?

    I think the answer given was that more electrons blow off the outer atmosphere-- and out of orbit--more frequently than positive ions which are more massive and thus less likely to escape gravity. I mentioned this earlier.
  12. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

  13. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Moderator

    My baloney detector is currently experienceing full scale deflection in response to your comments.

    Look, when a photon impinges on an atom or a molecule and excites and ionizes it, it ionizes it because it excites an electron. When this happens, the photons energy is deposited in three places. The ionization energy of the electron, the momentum of the electron, and the momentum of the molecule.

    If we consider a molecule of CO[sub]2[/sub] for a moment, then the molecule of CO[sub]2[/sub] is nearly 80,000 times heavier than the electrons it carries. This difference in mass means that the difference in veolcities is also likely to be on the order of five orders of magnitude. The only restriction is that it's dependent on the angles between the incident radiation, the direction the molecule recoils in, direction the electron travels in, and the requirement that the total momentum before and after the collision has the same direction and magnitude.

    Whether it escapes into space or not is dependent on the air density at the height of the ionization event, the mean free path of the electron, and the velocity of the electron.
  14. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member


    You said you want evidence, but you seem to be rejecting it. you may already know that 99.998% of the air is Nitrogen (N[sub]2[/sub]), Oxygen (O[sub]2[/sub]) and Carbon dioxide (CO[sub]2[/sub]), and I think Argon is 4th in concentration. Look what happens to them when ionized as Trippy just explained. Here's a breakdown of ion concentrations at different altitudes.



    The blue line shows the density of negative charge as a function of altitude, and the red line is the density of positive charge. As you see it doesn't fit your idealized model. Besides the irregularities in the electric field you have to try to understand the many forces acting on air particles.
  15. origin Howdy Valued Senior Member

    Nice information and very clearly presented. I fear that my geriatric friend will forced to dismiss it.
  16. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

    I presented the link to some of Carl Sagan's sage council because it warned against Aqueous Id's presumption for authorities in science: there is no such thing according to Carl.

    How did my response to him provoke your wrath?
  17. Dale Geriatric friend of trolls Registered Senior Member

    It is nice of you to take the trouble of enlightening me. I have been enlightened, and our juvenile contingent has been gratified by your contribution.

    It will be difficult for me to apply the data that you supplied to my concerns which pertain to the macroscopic electrical charge upon the earth. By the way, my meaning in estimating an overall charge polarity as being that polarity for which there is the greater overall count, the total count is not of less than the total. It is not devoted just to free charged particles or ions.
  18. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Sagan worked for NASA. I specifically went to them anticipating your express concern about trustable sources. It doesn't matter what you think of NASA, NOAA, and the world body of atmospheric scientists, but if you deny that their findings are correct just because you don't like them, then you might as well cut to the chase. There are several threads on scientific authority if that's what you really came here to talk about.

    In science the authority is nature, which was Sagan's passion. Just as you would not disparage Newton for explaining the force of gravity, it makes no sense to disparage the scientists who discovered and explained the laws of electromagnetics. By this same reasoning, it makes no sense to disparage the NASA experts who studied and applied those laws in order to launch vehicles that are measuring the parameters you came here asking about.

    I suspect that your opinions are largely influenced by your unfamiliarity with science and math. However, if you start from the premise that there is no trustable authority for math or science, you will only end up depriving yourself of knowledge. On the other hand, once you immerse yourself in it you will quickly understand the underpinnings, what it is that gives science its authority, namely, the laws of nature.

    Your question about positive charges migrating to the surface of the earth and negative charges migrating to the center are based on your assumption of some authority. All I did was refer you to Gauss's Law to get you on track that this is the actual law you need to refer to, at least to be correct about the idea of a point charge, its field, and the equivalent charge at any radius from center. Your reaction was to disparage Gauss. I think you fail to understand that Gauss didn't make this up. Nature did. Gauss merely explained the observation of what nature is actually doing. And since then it has become as useful and commonly applied among scientists as the law of gravity. Again, as you would not dispute Newton, you should not dispute Gauss.

    Sagan is rolling over in his grave for being invoked as a source who disputes Maxwell's equations or the integrity of atmospheric science at the Goddard Space Flight Center.
  19. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Juvenile contingent? I can't tell if that's a backhanded remark or not. It would be easier to understand you if you would avoid hyperbole and metaphor.
    One thing at a time. This last graph was to illustrate actual measurements of ion density as a function of altitude. You need this information to understand that your conception of an electrostatic field creating smooth charge density is ideal. By that I mean it is highly oversimplified; it never actually occurs in nature. We use idealized models all the time, in part to try to understand how things work, and in part to get approximate answers when exact answers are too hard to resolve.

    The idealized model for the field intensity as a function of distance from the center of the earth - the rule that you are relying on - yields a parabolic curve. As you see, that's not at all the shape seen in charge density. Furthermore, at low altitudes, the positive and negative charge carriers are about equal in density. So right off the bat, bells should be going off in your head telling you something was wrong with your model. Now all you need to do is to figure out what went wrong and how to correct it. This is routine bread and butter modeling. Scientists go through the same process every day.

    My problem with this is that it seems to try to model the earth as an atom or a battery or some other idealization you have in mind. You would do better to start with some accepted parameter, for example the 100 V/m field intensity, and figure out how to use that to compute the charge density on an ideal spherical surface, with full understanding that it's a model, nothing more. Once you know the charge density you know the charge and vice versa.

    After that you can try to understand why the density of positive and negative charge carriers is about the same in surface air. As you continue clashing your idealized models against the real deal, you will begin to learn a lot of new stuff. There will always be a clash, there will always be some mystery, and there will always be more to learn.

    And that's a credit to science, not a flaw.
  20. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Hi, origin. I was glad to find that chart since it spoke to Dale's issues and it reflected what you, James R and Trippy were explaining. One thing about raw data is that it's often quirky like this. This one in particular has all those features that make a lot of crazy effects pop out at you. It actually blows my mind thinking about how it's collected. I mean, imagine doing this on a bench, and then trying to do the same thing at escape velocity. At some levels they're sending up rockets with mills, and then calibrating out the body of the ship or something like that. Anyway it obviously takes inordinate determination to accomplish a task like this. I haven't followed up to see exactly how it was done, but I'm nevertheless amazed. Determination like that certainly does fly in face of your typical goose-stepping government robot. :D

    I think your geriatric friend if feeling his oats and wants to give the Board of Science a piece of his mind. Maybe if he can pick up on the distinction between real vs ideal this will blow over.
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