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Evil Bunny
Feb18-11, 01:42 PM
P: 237
Quote Quote by jarednjames View Post
In this case, it won't arc to the ground but to the other pole.

However, with a significant charge imbalance you will get an arc between the pole and the ground - as with static (lightning).
Perfect... Ok so my main reason for posting this is because I am having a hard time understanding why we can develop a large potential (between the two poles of my imaginary hovering generator) and not have the electrons make their way from the earth to one of these poles. I would think that these electrons in the earth would be attracted to one of these poles because of a huge difference in charge, but this is apparently not the case.


I think the explanation was given by Naty1 in post # 12 of this thread but I'm still having a hard time grasping the concept.

Lightning was also brought into this conversation and rightly so... Obviously there are scenarios where the potential between cloud and ground becomes so great that we ionize the air and lightning occurs. What is the difference? Is it sheer magnitude of voltage? Are we simply not generating enough voltage to "encourage" interaction between the generator pole and ground? Or does voltage (between the two generator poles) have absolutely nothing to do with this "charge" that causes lightning?