# Estimate the potential of the cloud relative to the ground

• Clari
In summary, the conversation is about calculating the potential of a thunder cloud with a large flat square base that is carrying a total charge of 40C and is at a height of 0.5km above the ground. The equation used to calculate the potential (V = 1/(4*pi*epsilon) Q/r^2) is incorrect as it is for the electric field of a point charge, not potential. The correct approach is to treat the cloud as a plane of charge and consider the induced charge on the earth. Once the electric field is known, the potential difference can be calculated.
Clari
Hello! here is one question which I still donno how to solve:

A thunder cloud with a large flat square base measuring 3000m x 3000m passes over an area on level ground. Assuming the cloud carries a total charge of 40C which is spread evenly over its base and is at a height of 0.5 km above the ground, estimate the potential of the cloud relative to the ground.

My solution: by V = 1/(4*pi*epsilon) Q/r^2
Potential of the cloud relative to the ground = (9x10^9) 40/ 0.5x10^3 = 7.2 x10^8 V

It is wrong...please help me anyway. Thanks in advance.

Clari said:
My solution: by V = 1/(4*pi*epsilon) Q/r^2
That equation is for the electric field (field, not potential) of a point charge. Treat this as a plane of charge. What's the field from a plane of charge? (Don't neglect the induced charge on the earth.)

Once you know the field, you can calculate the potential difference.

Hi there! Your solution is on the right track, but there is one small error in your calculation. The formula you used, V = 1/(4*pi*epsilon) Q/r^2, is for the potential due to a point charge. In this case, the charge is spread evenly over the base of the cloud, so we need to use a different formula.

The correct formula to use is V = (1/4*pi*epsilon) * (Q/A) * h, where A is the area of the cloud's base and h is the height of the cloud. Plugging in the values, we get:

V = (9x10^9) * (40/9x10^6) * 0.5x10^3 = 20 x 10^3 V = 2x10^4 V

So the potential of the cloud relative to the ground is 2x10^4 V. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

## 1. What is the cloud and how does it differ from the ground?

The cloud refers to a network of remote servers that can store, manage, and process data over the internet. The ground, on the other hand, refers to physical hardware and infrastructure that is used to store and process data on-site.

## 2. How does the cloud offer potential benefits compared to the ground?

The cloud offers several potential benefits, including scalability, cost-effectiveness, and accessibility. By using the cloud, companies can easily scale their storage and computing needs up or down depending on their current needs. Additionally, the cloud eliminates the need for expensive physical infrastructure, making it more cost-effective to use. It also offers remote access to data and applications, making it more accessible for individuals and businesses.

## 3. What types of data and applications are best suited for the cloud?

The cloud is best suited for data and applications that require large storage and processing capabilities. This includes big data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Businesses that need to store and process large amounts of data or require a high level of computing power can benefit from using the cloud.

## 4. Are there any potential drawbacks to using the cloud over the ground?

While the cloud offers many benefits, there are also potential drawbacks to consider. One major concern is security, as data stored in the cloud is vulnerable to cyber attacks if proper security measures are not in place. Additionally, reliance on the internet for data access can be a concern for businesses that require constant access to their data and applications.

## 5. What are some future developments that may impact the potential of the cloud relative to the ground?

The potential of the cloud is constantly evolving, and there are several developments that may impact its use in comparison to the ground in the future. These include advancements in cloud security, the integration of emerging technologies such as edge computing and serverless computing, and the development of new cloud-based services and applications. Additionally, as more businesses embrace remote work and digital transformation, the demand for cloud services will likely continue to grow.

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