The Washington, D.C., area’s ionosphere has been dubbed “the electrified cloud.”
Scientists have long known that ionospheric particles have strong and strong interactions with each other.
Now, new research shows that electrons and protons also have strong interactions.
The findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, may have applications in new technologies that could help protect electrical grids from EMP attacks and other cyberattacks.
In a new experiment, the researchers created protons that are electrically polarized at a wavelength that ranges from about 0.1 to about 1.0 nanometers.
The researchers also created electrons that were polarized at different wavelengths, and they added another pair of electrons to the mix.
They then measured the electric fields produced by the electrons.
The results showed that the electrons generated more electric fields when they were excited at different frequencies.
The electrons also had strong electrical interactions with the protons.
The experiments revealed that electrons are more likely to form strong electric fields if the protrons are excited at the right frequency.
The team also found that protons are also attracted to protons which are excited in a similar way.
These findings suggest that protrons, or other electric charges, form an ionic bond that makes them attract electrons.
“The electric interactions between protons, electrons and ions have been widely studied,” said lead author of the study, Dr. Mark M. Wilson, a professor of physics at the University of Virginia.
“This work is an important step toward understanding these interactions.”
Wilson’s co-authors are Michael J. Riehle, a postdoctoral researcher in the University at Buffalo, and Dr. Ravi Prasad, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Virginia Tech.
The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research.
Wilson is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory.
The work was funded in part by the Office to Support Advanced Research in Energy Storage and Photovoltaic Technologies at the National Institutes of Health.
Contact: Michael J Riehl, Virginia Polytech, c/o University at Albany, 1031 State Street, Albany, NY 12206; 914-523-9331; [email protected]