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Magnetic field and airplane scenario.

  1. Apr 13, 2008 #1
    An airplane is flying horizontal and heading south in a region where the earth's magnetic field is directd vertically. The planes wings and body are made of a continuous conducting metal. For these conditions, the tip of the east-side wing would be at a lower potential than the west-side wing.

    I just want to check if my reasoning is correct.
    OK, so this is true because since the magnetic field is pointing perpendicular to the plane, the charges would migrate to one side?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2008 #2

    Nabeshin

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    Correct, and this actually does happen on airplanes. Ballpark calculations I did say there's about .1V potential difference on a typical airplane!
     
  4. Apr 13, 2008 #3
    Sweet thanks!
    Another quick question, does the side of the plane that tips toward the earth matter?(e.g the west side vs. the east side?).
     
  5. Apr 13, 2008 #4

    Nabeshin

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    I'm not sure what you mean and why all of a sudden the plane is tipping towards the Earth.
     
  6. Apr 14, 2008 #5
    Wow. Sorry I confused myself by looking at the wrong problem.
    I meant to say that in the question it says that the east side would be at a lower potential. Why is the east side the side that experiences lower potential and not the west side?
     
  7. Apr 14, 2008 #6

    Nabeshin

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    Well do a right hand rule (or left hand in this case) and find that negative charges are going to move in one direction, which is why you get a specific wing at higher/lower potential.
     
  8. Apr 14, 2008 #7
    I think I'm still a little confused whith the llink between charge and magnetic field. So in this case, the mag. field of the earth is pointing directly upward perpandicular to the plane. So, the current is pointing toward the right which means that the positive charge is flowing in the right-direction(or to the east)?
     
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