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Focus: Voltage Mumon reveals Breaking Voltage



& pillar; Physics 12, 29

There was an electric potential greater than one billion voltage at an eastern storm which had atmospheric mules, much higher than previously measured values.

Many shock. Using a muon detector, researchers measured the potential of an east storm over 1 billion.

Researchers documented a thunderstorm that produces an electrical potential of about 1.3 billion volts (GV), 10 times more than the greatest ever reported value. The team's new family style is used during the thunderstorm of the staff and the ponies that describe the Earth, which produce cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere, are used. The potential of thundercloud can reduce the energy of charged particles and reduce the likelihood of being found below the storm. The new measurement suggests that thunderstorms with potential several billion-volt feasible, high voltages enough to explain the mysterious flashes of energy gamma rays are sometimes observed during storms.

Since Benjamin Franklin flew a kite on a stormy evening in 1752, we know that thunderstorms include electric phenomena – lightning and thunder are the sudden leaks between atmospheric loaded regions. To study the electrical structure of the surfaces, researchers put airplanes or balloons into thunderstorms. These tests found that an electric storm in New Mexico in the 1990s [1] has an electric potential greater than ten million million, with the greatest value of 130 megavolts. Aircraft and balloons, however, can only investigate a small region of the storm they fly and cannot measure the potential across the cloud.

The method designed by Sunil Gupta from the Tata Basic Research Institute in Mumbai, India, and colleagues are based on investigating the effect of noise storms on particle detection at G3MT, a muon telescope in Southern India (part of the cosmetic facility). GRAPES-3). The atmospheric telescope is generated by cosmic rays – mainly charged particles coming from outside the Solar System. Researchers at a number of other mole telescopes looked at previously correlated thunderstorms with changes in the measured number of the moons (flux). The Gupta team have now taken the next step and have developed a quantitative method. “We realized that GRAPES-3 is a great tool to measure thunderstorm potential, especially for the biggest storms,” says Gupta.

Most of the muons that detect G3MT are positive contractions, which usually lose energy as they respond to the complex charge arrangement on thundercloud. With reduced energy, the detector is less likely to donate the mule, which only measures particles with energy above a certain threshold. So the storm registers as a reduction in the perceived muon flux which can be as much as a few percent. With more than a million ponies achieving G3MT every minute, the system can measure fluxon changes with 0.1% accuracy. The telescope can also distinguish among 169 detached directions in the sky.

From flux measurements, Gupta and his colleagues can assess the potential of the storm using computer simulations based on a simplified storm report. They deal with it as a huge capacitor made of two parallel plates 2 km apart by generating an electric field that is pointing upwards.

Between 2011 and 2014, the researchers collected data on 184 storms, shortlisting the seven largest events. However, six had a complex time profile, which made it difficult to calculate the potential. The researchers focused on the seventh storm, which took place on 1 December 2014, and emerged from an electric peak of 1.3 GV.

“This peat-based technique provides a unique, though indirect, way to explore electricity in the world's largest natural particle accelerators – lightning and thunderstorms,” says Michael Cherry, who studies high-energy cosmetic rays and gamma rays at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. The analysis of Monte Carlo simulations and the simplification of assumptions that may not apply to all storms, he says, depends, but the value obtained shows much greater potential than the values ​​previously measured by balloons. It recommends that a balloon or drone may be conducted during thunder and muon observation test a single key parameter: the length separated 2-km between the thundercloud-equivalent capacitor plates.

The new result could also help prepare atmospheric puzzle researchers, Gupta says. Since 1994, satellite measurements have shown that gamma-ray flashes are coming from the height of the ten kilometers. Researchers speculate that electrons could produce these flashes, but that previous dimensions did not get enough big thunderstorm potential. However, the newly discovered potential in the gigavolt range is much closer to the values ​​required to produce the observed gamma rays. Gupta staff are now establishing gamma ray detectors around GRAPES-3, hoping to provide conclusive evidence by capturing gamma ray flames in coincidence with the gigavolt-level storm. [19659017]

–Matteo Rini

Matteo Rini is Deputy Editor of Physics .

References

  1. T. Marshall and M. Stolzenburg, “Voltages inside and just over thunderstorms,” J. Geophysics. Res.: Atmos. 106 4757 (2001).

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