Transformation of the charged particles from the solar wind into atoms
It is deemed that the Earth’s magnetic field collects the electrons at a height of 22,000 km from the Earth’s surface with the help of the Lorentz force FL, and the ions, 80% of which comprise protons – at a height of two-three thousand kilometers (fig. 2) . These are the so-called radiation belts. In them, under the influence of the horizontal component of the Lorentz force FLh, the electrons, describing narrowing spirals around the power lines of the magnetic field, head towards the North Magnetic Pole, and the ions – towards the South one. In the regions of the poles the power lines of the magnetic field stand perpendicular to the Earth’s surface, and the electrons and the ions, as can be well seen in Fig.2, start moving one against the other. As a result of that the charged particles fall under the impact of the much greater than the Lorentz force in terms of influence force of mutual attraction of opposite charge-sign particles, called Coulomb force – FQ. In addition, this force has one more property – it increases with the approaching of the particles, and in inverse proportion to the square of the distance between them at that. Under the insurmountable influence of these two forces, the electrons from the North and the ions from the South Magnetic Pole rush through the Earth’s bowels to one another. They meet in the Earth’s mantle and in accordance with the galactic schedule turn into atoms. In this process, as we already know, the energy used for their ionization thousands of years ago is emitted in the form of heat, and the pressure of the formed gases causes constant expansion of the Earth accompanied by earthquakes.
If the Earth’s magnetic field fails in practice to send to the North Magnetic Pole almost all electrons, as they are thousands of times lighter than the ions, the situation with the latter is slightly different. The horizontal component of the Lorentz force FLh, as can be seen in the illustration, can engage to the South Magnetic Pole only those ions which move at an obtuse angle to the power lines of the magnetic field. The heavy ions of carbon, iron, silicon and manganese, which move perpendicularly to them, are forced to stay in the proton radiation belt, describing circumferences around the power lines of the magnetic field. As a result, the middle section of the proton radiation belt and the Earth’s mantle underneath it turn into electrodes of an enormous capacitor, which is constantly charged by the solar wind. The hydrogen synthesis, however, cannot stop – this is a galactic obligation of our planet with the effect of a law, and that is why the capacitor has to discharge in this rhythm. This discharge happens mainly with the help of lightning. It will become clear in the course of our presentation that the discharge of this capacitor is mainly the reason both for occurrence of atmospheric overvoltages in the electrical grids and for their anticipated collapse. Logic tells us that we can avoid all this if we provide the capacitor with an alternative possibility for self-discharge. To understand that, however, we need to know exactly what its course is. Now we are going to investigate this process.
It is difficult to imagine the power of the micro-world – simply, there is nothing to which we can compare it. The only analogy is the blast of a hydrogen bomb. Its monstrous energy is the result of the conversion of a negligibly small quantity of the nuclei of atoms of the hydrogen’s isotopes – deuterium or tritium, into nuclei of helium atoms.
The Lorentz force, which holds 1 g protons in the radiation belt, equals 4 kN. This, however, is literally nothing compared to the strength of the electrostatic attraction between their charge, equal to 105 С, and the charge of the electrons from 1 g hydrogen. In the vacuum, at a distance equal to the height of the Earth’s proton radiation belt, it is tens of thousands times bigger and equals 100,000 kN. Here is how figuratively and emotionally the prominent physicist from 20th c. Iakov Il’ich Frenkel expressed himself, “Even if we draw apart the carriers of these charges at a distance equal to the diameter of the terrestrial globe (about 13,000 km), then the power of mutual attraction, although it may possibly decrease many times, will still remain equal to 10 tons”. At first sight it seems that the electrons, which are thousands of times lighter than the ions and which are constantly influenced by the force of repulsion from the negatively charged Earth, should cross unimpeded the space that separates them from the ions. This, however, does not happen, mainly due to the fact that the dry air is one of the best insulators. Consequently, for the electrons to be able to rise, the air needs to become a conductor of electric current.
A compulsory condition for conductivity of the gases is the presence of free charges in them – electrons and ions. The occurrence of free charges, as we already know, happens as a result of ionization, and to make the latter happen, the atom should in some way be supplied with energy. In addition to the thermal ionization, which was already mentioned, ionization is also realised through the following processes:
1. Mutual collision of a neutral atom or a molecule with a particle flying at a considerable speed – collision ionization.
2. Occurrence of a strong external electric field – electrostatic ionization.
It should also be borne in mind that:
1. Together with the agitation and the ionization, a reverse process always follows in the gas gap – atomic recombination. It is accompanied by emission of heat and light. That is exactly why lightning is accompanied by the shining not only of the discharge channel, but also of a number of lateral branches.
2. Oxygen has the lowest ionization potential, and upon the combination of ionized oxygen atoms with a molecule they form ozone. It has been established with the help of measurements that ozone formation starts 3-4 hours prior to the beginning of a storm.