Radon-daughter ions and their relation to some electrical properties of the atmosphere
Wilkening, M. H.
- Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
(issn: 1600-0870, eissn: 0280-6495)
The mobilities and concentrations of the short-lived decay products of radon existing as positive small ions in the lower atmosphere are measured and compared with corresponding values for ordinary small ions in the atmosphere. Seventyfive per cent of the radon-daughter ions with mobilities greater than 0.06 cm2 sec−1 volt−1 are found in the range of 0.25 to 1.50 cm2 sec−1 volt−1. Ion characteristic curves give no evidence for distinct mobility groups within the resolution available. Radon-daughter ions on the average are present in the ratio of 3 parts per 100,000 of ordinary small ions in the atmosphere. A good correlation between radon-daughter ion concentration and total small-ion content is found over a range of 100 to 1200 small ions cm−3. Radon-daughter ions are found to disappear almost completely at ground level under an active thunderstorm due to upward migration of the ions under the influence of strong electric fields. The importance of radon-daughter ions in the study of the electric environment of thunderstorms is indicated.DOI: 10.1111/j.2153-3490.1966.tb00285.x