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Mystery of the Broom Antenna

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ANTENTOP- 01- 2007, # 009

Mystery of the Broom Antenna



Figure 2 Broom converted to an optimal capacitive load


So in the theory there is no any advantage of the broom antenna before another antenna with a capacitive load.


However, a small metal "broom" was used for discharging of some parts of electrostatic machines from 19 century. Recently the metal "broom" are widely used at the end of antenna mast (that installed on the ground or on a ship), at the end of jet wings for leaking the static from the jet to the air. The "broom" discharger looks like a Broom Antenna...


So, what is can discharge the broom from the antenna?



2. Atmospheric electricity


What are we know about an atmospheric electricity? Near the ground surface there is gradient of potential, i.e. strength of the electrostatic field is near 130 Volts/meter. At height of the human head the strength of the electrostatic field is near 200 Volts/meter. However we do not mention the potential because the air is very good insulator and current going through our body is too small. The more up the more potential will be. It is come due the follow effect. Upper layers of the Earth atmosphere are ionized (so called ionosphere) by the Sun rays. Ionosphere layer has some conductivity and charged positively (due some process) compare to the Ground surface. So, mankind lives between two plates of huge capacitor- one plate is the Ground another plate is the Ionosphere.


However it is a small ionic current flow down to the Ground. It is very- very small current. The current density being measured by a high sensitivity device is several pico- Amperes per square meter. Scientists do not clear explain the phenomenon. One of hypothesis says that the current exists due lightning and thunderstorm [4]. Really, before a thunderstorm the current is increased dramatically and sometimes we could register the effect visually. It is the corona discharge- bright glowing at the end of high metal mast, sometimes the corona charge is going from trees, wooden or metal cross at the top of churches. Corona discharge is especially bright in the mountains and in the sea (where the air is especially clear). Such Corona Discharge had been well known from the very old times, it was called Saint Elmo's fire.



Saint Elmo's fire


Atmospheric electricity had been studied from 17- century [5]. Lots great scientists (in the US Benjamin Franklin [03] the inventor of the lightning rod, in Italy Giovanni Beccaria [04], in Russia- Mihail Lomonosov and Georg Rihman [05]). Franklin studied the effect with help of a metal wire lifted with help of a kite in the sky.

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