Foundations of Physics

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 459–472 | Cite as

A possible origin of atmospheric electricity

  • L. Wåhlin


A new theory concerning charge separation of atmospheric electricity is proposed, based on the selective capture of negative charge from atmospheric ion pairs by material surfaces. It explains why the earth's surface becomes negatively charged during fine weather, and provides a mechanism for the phenomenon of charge separation within clouds during the violent growth of thunderstorms. Also included is a description of laboratory and field experiments substantiating our views.


Field Experiment Negative Charge Material Surface Charge Separation Atmospheric Electricity 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Wåhlin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ColoradoBoulder

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