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Determination of the net E field of the earth when viewed as a point charge

  1. Oct 15, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    This is more of a general question than it is a homework problem, therefore I'll begin by apologizing if I have violated any forum rules. If you can look past this transgression and help me with this question, I would greatly appreciate it.

    I'd like to determine the net electric field direction of the earth when it is viewed as point charge. I understand that the ionosphere is net positive charge and the surface of the earth is net negative charge which results in a net electric field directed towards the earth's surface. However, I'm led to believe that any determination of the direction of the E field beyond the atmosphere is a result of any field lines not accounted for in dipole interaction. In other words, (+)Qnet > (-)Qnet = positive field lines radiating outward into space and the converse results in negative field lines. Is it at all possible that the net charges are equal? Does the sign and magnitude of this external field vary with respect to solar activity?

    Again, any and all help on this will be greatly appreciated...
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data



    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution
     
  2. jcsd
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