   Chapter 16, Problem 29P

Chapter
Section
Textbook Problem

Consider the Earth and a cloud layer 8.0 × 102 m above the planet to be the plates of a parallel-plate capacitor, (a) If the cloud layer has an area of 1.0 km2 = 1.0 × 106 m2, what is the capacitance? (b) If an electric field strength greater than 3.0 × 106 N/C causes the air to break down and conduct charge (lightning), what is the maximum charge the cloud can hold?

(a)

To determine
The capacitance.

Explanation

Formula to calculate the capacitance is,

• ε0 is the permittivity of free space.
• d is the distance of separation between the plates.
• A is the area of plate.

Substitute 1.0×106m2 for A, 8.00×102m for d and 8.85×1012 C2/Nm2 for ε0

(b)

To determine
The maximum charge.

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