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Question

# The earth has a net electric charge that causes a field at points near its surface. The charge on the earth is supposed to be a result of an atmospheric battery created between ionosphere and the earth. The electric field near the earth's surface is believed to be 150NC−1 and directed towards the centre of the earth. A man suggested that this electric field may be used in flying. What magnitude and sign of charge would a 60kg human have to acquire to overcome his or her weight?

A
6C
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B
4C
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C
6C
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D
4C
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E
None
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Solution

## The correct option is D −4CIn order to overcome his or her weight, the electrostatic force must balance his or her weight i.e., qE=mg⇒q=mgE=60×10150=4CAs the electric field is directed towards the earth's center, so the sign of charge should be negative. Thus, q=−4C

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