By John Alan Chalmers
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When it is possible to make measurements at différent times as well as at different places, reasonable assumptions in regard to the movement of charges can also be verified. 11. Numerical Values It is convenient to give here some numerical values relating potential gradients and charges. From the formula e0F = —a a. e. — 1 C on an area of about 1130 km2. At the same time, there must be a corresponding positive charge somewhere above. ). This is 1-8 x 10 4 V/m. Thus the normal potential gradient of 100 V/m would be entirely neutralized by a charge of— 5-5 x 10 _ 3 C centred at 1 km vertically above the point of measurement.
39. Variability of Results In contrast to many other branches of physics, where the same conditions may be reproduced almost exactly and the same experiment repeated, in atmospheric electricity the conditions can never be twice quite the same, owing to variations in meteorological factors which are not under control. Consequently, the measurements of any atmospheric-electrical quantity are subject to a variability which depends not only on observational and instrumental inaccuracies, but also on factors which are uncontrollable and may not even be recognized as of importance.
Since positive ions moving downwards and negative ions moving upwards both contribute to a positive current in a positive potential gradient, it follows that the product ew must be positive; so, if e2 is negative, w2 should also be taken as negative. 17. Velocities of Ions It is important to realize how small is the velocity of even a small ion in the normal atmospheric electric field. In the normal fineweather field of about 100 V/m, the velocity of a small ion in the field is only about 1-5 x 10"2 m/sec.
Atmospheric Electricity by John Alan Chalmers