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An atmospheric electrical instrument for educational outreach [130416]

Status: Proposal
1905
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January 27, 2014
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Electricity in the atmosphere provides an ideal topic for educational outreach in environmental science. To support this objective, a simple instrument to measure real atmospheric electrical parameters is proposed. This project compliments educational activities undertaken by the Coupling of Atmospheric Layers (CAL) European research collaboration. The instrument is inexpensive and simple to operate, allowing it to be used in schools. It is suited to students at a variety of ifferent educational levels, who will be able to make measurements of the fair weather electric field and current density, thereby gaining an understanding of the electrical nature of the atmosphere. The timing of this initiative coincides with the centenary of the 1906 paper in which C.T.R. Wilson described an apparatus to measure the electric field and conduction current density, which continued regularly in the UK until 1979. The instrument proposed is based on the same physical principles as C.T.R. Wilson's instrument. A.J. Bennett and R. G. Harrison Department of Meteorology, University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6BB UK
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