Electric charges and large bodies

  • Thread starter kenewbie
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Main Question or Discussion Point

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
 

Answers and Replies

392
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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.
 
237
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That made a lot of sense thank you
 

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