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# (Solved): 9. Above about 90km altitude, a significant portion of the atmosphere becomes electrically charge ...

9. Above about altitude, a significant portion of the atmosphere becomes electrically charged, which we call the ionosphere. Let's assume all the ions are ). (a) (3 points) One of the ways we can measure the electric fields present in the ionosphere is by measuring the potential difference between two sides of a rocket or satellite. If our sensors are apart and produce potential measurements of and , calculate the magnitude of the electric ficld. (b) (3 points) Calculate the force that an ion would feel inside this electric field. Compare it to the force of gravity pulling on the ion . (c) (3 points) Let us now assume that electric field is constant everywhere in the atmosphere (actually not that bad of an assumption). If an ion travels across the polar cap, a total distance of , calculate how fast it will be moving at the end of its journey, assuming nothing else acts on it. Hint: Start by using the same relation as part (a) to find the potential difference across the polar cap. (Don't worry if your answer seems outlandish. There is a lot more going on in the atmosphere that affects these ions!)

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(a) the relation between electric field and potentialE=?V?L?V=523?458=65mV?L=2.8mE=652.8=23.2mVm(b
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