Conference publications


XXIX conference

Progress in the study of atmospheric electricity from M.V. Lomonosov to the present

Natyaganov V.L.

Russia, Moscow, Lomonosov Moscow State University, e_mail:

1 pp. (accepted)

The report is based on a review of modern achievements in the study of various phenomena of atmospheric electricity mainly in the lower layers of the atmosphere, and begins with an analysis of the work of M.V. Lomonosov, widely known in the scientific world (including due to the death of G.V. Rikhman from a ball lightning discharge), "The Word about air phenomena occurring from electric force" (1753) and the lesser-known supplement "Explanations appropriate to the Word about electric air phenomena”, which was not sent together with the “Word ...” to the leading scientific centers of that time.

In ”The Word..." M.V. Lomonosov wrote“ "Many chapters of natural science are very clearly interpreted, but the knowledge of the air circle is still covered with great darkness." And Lomonosov considered the most mysterious phenomena of atmospheric electricity to be the Northern lights, ball lightning (CMM) without its modern name, typhon-tornado or tornado and ascending linear lightning; whereas smoldering discharge in vacuum tubes, St. Elmo's lights (a type of corona discharge) and descending lightning (as a powerful analog of a laboratory spark), as well as atmospheric electric field (AEF) even "clear weather" (i.e. without clouds) considered quite common phenomena.

Today, the nature of the aurora is well studied, more than a dozen different models are known for the CMM, but it has not yet been obtained in laboratory conditions; the electrohydrodynamic model of the formation of a tornado has been developed only recently, and the mechanisms of the AEF of "clear weather" (or the preservation of the total negative charge of the Earth according to Ya.I. Frenkel) still remain a mystery.

There are also new mysteries of natural electricity, in particular, extremely short-term, but powerful electro-optical breakdowns in the upper atmosphere with semi-fantastic names: sprites (signs), elves, fairies, gnomes, as well as various types of jets (jets). These large-scale electro-optical discharges hitting the ionosphere destroyed the ideas of specialists about the main structural elements of the global electrical network of the planet and required a revision of the seemingly well-established views on electromagnetic processes in the lower atmosphere.

From an energy point of view, the Earth is more of a "magnetic" planet, but under powerful thunderclouds, where the AEF voltage increases thousands of times, it locally becomes "electric". Taking into account this empirical fact allowed the author, together with S.A. Maslov, to develop, on the basis of electrohydrodynamics equations, an EGD model for the formation of a tornado funnel from a tripolar thunderstorm cloud, whereas jet downbursts (downburst) usually arise from a dipole cloud without much twist.


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