Charge Transfer between Model Ice Crystals separated in an Electric Field

Abstract

DAVIS1 has demonstrated theoretically that, in general, the electric field between adjacent surfaces of two conducting spheres is greater than the external field in which the spheres are situated. For example, the field between two identical spheres separated by 10−2 radius is about 50 times greater than the external field if the line of centres is parallel to the field. Electrical breakdown of the air and consequent charge transfer between two spheres can therefore occur at normal pressures in external fields of only several hundred V/cm if their separation is small. This charge transfer process is one possible manifestation of the general inductive theory of thunderstorm electrification, proposed by Sartor2,3.

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References

  1. 1

    Davis, M. H., Quart. J. Mech. App. Math., 17, 499 (1964).

  2. 2

    Sartor, J. D., J. Geophys. Res., 66, 831 (1961).

  3. 3

    Sartor, J. D., J. Geophys. Res., 66, 3070 (1961).

  4. 4

    Atkinson, W. R., and Miller, A. H., Phys. Fluids (in the press).

  5. 5

    Latham, J., and Mason, B. J., Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 266, 387 (1962).

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LATHAM, J., MYSTROM, R. & SARTOR, J. Charge Transfer between Model Ice Crystals separated in an Electric Field. Nature 206, 1344–1345 (1965) doi:10.1038/2061344a0

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