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By John Alan Chalmers

ISBN-10: 0080120059

ISBN-13: 9780080120058

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Variability of Results In contrast to many other branches of physics, where the same conditions may be reproduced almost exactly and the same experiment repeated, in atmospheric electricity the conditions can never be twice quite the same, owing to variations in meteorological factors which are not under control. Consequently, the measurements of any atmospheric-electrical quantity are subject to a variability which depends not only on observational and instrumental inaccuracies, but also on factors which are uncontrollable and may not even be recognized as of importance.

IMIANITOV (1958) has given a detailed description of electronic methods of measurement. Thefinalinstrument used to display or record the output is often a moving-coil galvanometer, and this often must be used in a "dead-beat" form. It is usually desirable for the galvanometer to be "critically damped" as in this condition it responds most closely to the current. A useful device for alteration of sensitivity is the "Ayrton shunt" as illustrated in Fig. 7; P + Q + R is the necessary resistance for critical damping.

An extensive series of observations has been carried out at Watheroo in Western Australia and another at Huancayo in Peru, as well as less continuous observations in polar regions and on mountains. In the post-war period there has been less emphasis on long-continued measurements and more on those of shorter duration intended to solve particular problems. But the range and type of measurements have been extended, and, in particular, more measurements have been made above ground level. A mountain-top observatory for atmospheric electricity at Mount Withington in New Mexico is a very significant addition to facilities available.

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Atmospheric Electricity by John Alan Chalmers

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