Author Topic: Fishing for atmospheric electricity  (Read 297 times)

Offline haversin

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Fishing for atmospheric electricity
« on: March 31, 2020, 12:48:56 AM »
Three microcuries of Am-241 were placed in a aluminum pie tin.



The pie tin was then suspended 2.7 meters in the air by a fishing pole. The pie tin was insulated from ground by the nylon fishing line. A wire connection was hung from the pie tin to the top terminal of a gold leaf electroscope. The outer case of the electroscope was connected to Earth ground.



The first reading was at 11:43 am MST and based on the gold leaf deflection, represents a voltage of about 100 volts giving a field strength of 37 volts per meter.



The next reading was at 1:10 pm MST and  represents a voltage of about 225 volts giving a field strength of 83 volts per meter. This was the highest reading I got. Strong winds made me stop the experiment.



These field values seen low and this might be due to my backyard being in a depression with the terrain sloping up on two sides. I might try doing this experiment in my front yard were the terrain slopes down on two sides. If the neighbors see this however they'll probably think I'm a nut job.

Offline John123

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Re: Fishing for atmospheric electricity
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2020, 06:07:44 PM »
Is this going to end in a massive spark lol?

Offline haversin

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Re: Fishing for atmospheric electricity
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2020, 07:42:47 PM »
I hope not!
In theory the electroscope should give some warning. But that's "in theory". I think lightning has a mind of it's own.

Update:
 I was thinking it would be nice to record to electroscope reading automatically without me having to go out to manually read and record them. Then it hit me, take a time lapse video of the electroscope! I have an old smartphone with a time lapse video app on it. The camera is lousy but it's good enough to read the electroscope. I'm making a trial run today.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2020, 08:00:08 PM by haversin »

Offline johnf

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Re: Fishing for atmospheric electricity
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2020, 08:45:14 PM »
Why not build a field mill --which has a nice voltage output to go directly to a scope or auduino or whatever

Offline haversin

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Re: Fishing for atmospheric electricity
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2020, 08:25:29 PM »
Made one about six years ago, I'm going make a separate post on it.

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Re: Fishing for atmospheric electricity
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2020, 08:25:29 PM »

 


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