On the Earth’s Electric Field
dielectric disc-shaped magnet can be modeled as an array of microscopic current
loops. The magnetic field of each tiny loop points parallel to the disc’s
When the magnet spins around its axis, each tiny loop translates in its plane.
According to the Lorentz transformation the charge density is predominantly
positive on one side of the translating loop, and negative on the other. Each
current loop in the spinning case becomes a miniature electric dipole with a
conservative electric dipole field.
Collectively these charge polarizations sum to produce a parent disc with
charge of one sign at its center, and charge of the opposite sign around its
Let us now imagine that we have a stack of such disc-shaped magnets, with
radii such that they collectively form a solid sphere. The electric dipole
fields of the constituent discs sum to produce an electric field that points
normal to the spherical surface at its equator and at its poles. At intermediate
latitudes the field would have components normal to and parallel to the
The earth can be modeled as such a spinning sphere of microscopic current
loops. The resultant electric field should pump ions upward or downward,
depending on which of the poles is north. The return route would be comprised of
Of course the action would be modified by where such lightning activity
occurs, winds and rain, seasonal variations, etc. It can be a complex problem
depending on many factors. But the magnetized spinning sphere model might be a
good starting point in such studies.