Reflection of Atmospherics by the Ionosphere


IN a previous letter to NATURE1, evidence was given that some atmospherics are reflected at the ionosphere. Further oscillographs obtained with an improved technique (see Figs. 1 and 2—photographic records on a rapidly moving film of the electric field of atmospherics) have led us to the conclusion that all atmospherics are reflected at the ionosphere. The electrical discharge, which appears to be lightning in all the observations we have made, radiates an electromagnetic disturbance which is propagated as a ground wave, and as a series of sky waves, which are reflected 1, 2... n times at an ionized layer at a height h km. Assuming the velocity of all the waves is that of light, and that the sky waves are optically reflected, then the intervals of time between the arrival of the ground wave and of the sky waves are given by the expression stated in the previous communication1.

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  1. 1

    Laby, T. H., Nicholls, F., Nickson, A., and Webster, H. C., NATURE, 139, 837 (1937).

  2. 2

    Wilson, C., Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc., A, 221, 73 (1920).

  3. 3

    Munro, G., and Huxley, L., Rept. Aust. R. R. Bd., No. 5 (1932).

  4. 4

    Boswell, R. W., and Wark, W. J., Quart. J. Roy. Met. Soc, 62, 499 (1936).

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LABY, T., NlCHOLLS, F., NICKSON, A. et al. Reflection of Atmospherics by the Ionosphere. Nature 142, 353–354 (1938).

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