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Levitation in the electric field near the surface of the earth.

The electric field is defined as the electrostatic force divided by the charge experiencing this force. The Earth's electric field is directed radially inward and is about 150 N/C at the Earth's surface. This arises because in a region of the atmosphere known as the ionosphere, parts of the spectrum of the radiation from the sun is so energetic, that atoms and molecules in the air are separated from some of their electrons. This ionization is where the ionosphere gets its name. Its lowest levels are about 100 km above the earth's surface.
a. Can we use this electric field to build a levitation device? How much charge would you have to have on you to levitate in this electric field?
b. If two people are levitating 10 m away from each other using a similar anti-gravity technique, what would the columbic force be between these two levitators?

Solution Summary

There is an electric field near the surface of the earth due to ionosphere charges. The charge needed for a man to levitate in this field is calculated.

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