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I The negative charge of the Earth

  1. May 8, 2016 #1
    The Earth has a net negative charge whilst the Ionosphere has a net positive charge, this has been known for well over a hundred years now.

    My question is about the negative charge of the Earth, are the free electrons on the Earth's surface stationary? are they whizzing around in the earth in all different directions like particles in brownian motion?
    or is the negative charge of the Earth steadily rising and falling in charge density in rhythm with the Earths schumann frequency?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 8, 2016 #2
    I guess there there is probably a QM answer to this.
    The 'excess' electrons in the Earth almost certainly cannot be stationary.
    Due to various interactions they will likely be continually hopping from one atom to another with some amount of probability.
  4. May 13, 2016 #3


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    "Atmospheric electrical currents flow downward in fine weather and upward in thunderstorms. Thunderstorms deliver charge to the earth by lightning, rain, and corona discharges." - Martin A. Uman, All About Lightning, p 152

    His diagram shows negative charges rising in fine weather, and descending as lightning under thunderstorms.
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