This may be very silly, but I need to understand this to get my concepts right.

Consider the fact that the electric field b/w the Earth's surface and the ionosphere is on an average $100$ V/m, then if we were to keep the terminals of a bulb around $1$-$2$ m apart (vertically) in the atmosphere, will the bulb glow? Why, or why not?


It is possible to use the field to generate work; however, in most cases this is not viable. This is because almost everything you observe around you is macroscopically neutral.

I suppose a simpler way to store and generate energy would be to use the gravitational field - such as one of these.

As for the example you mentioned - the voltage across the two end terminals is indeed sufficient, but you lack a source of electrons. A battery does not only provide voltage, but it also provides a source and a sink of electrons.

| cite | improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for such a prompt response :) Now I get it. The question mainly came from the fact that the potential difference build-up is usually counteracted by the discharging lightning bolts. But then instead of letting the layers discharge via lightning, if we kept ~ lightning rods at either layers and the load in the middle, wouldn't we be able to use the huge current surge ? $\endgroup$ – Maverick139 Sep 8 '19 at 16:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.