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Electric charges and large bodies

  1. Apr 1, 2008 #1
    According to my book the electric charge of large bodies like the earth and the moon is pretty close to zero. But the earth has poles and a magnetic field, which suggests that it isn't uniformly distributed at all. These two things SEEM contradictory to me, what is it that I am not getting?

    k
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 1, 2008 #2
    Note that electric fields and magnetic fields are not the same thing, the fact that the earth has a magnetic field has nothing to do with its net charge. Magnetism is caused by currents - moving charge - but there does not need to be a net charge for there to be a current.

    Now, if the earth had a net charge, or if the charge in the earth was not distributed very prettily, the planet would produce an electric field.
     
  4. Apr 1, 2008 #3
    That made a lot of sense thank you
     
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