Physics & Astronomy ETDs

Publication Date



The specific need for the present instrument arose out of a consideration of the significant results that might be obtained through a coordination of reliable data on potential gradients under various cloud formations with the accompanying fast motion cloud photographs. The characteristics most desired were: (1) the continuous measurement of both the magnitude and polarity of the surface potential gradients over a wide range of values, from normal fair weather gradients of 0 to +300 volts per meter to thunderstorm gradients, possibly as high as 200,000 volts per meter; (2) easy portability; (3) resistance to harmful effects from rain, dust, sunshine, etc.; (4) a rapid response to field changes; (5) facility for easy visual observation while in the field, and at a distance from the instrument, if possible, so as not to disturb it or the electrical field in the vicinity; (6) if possible, easy adaptation to continuous recording techniques; and (7) continuous operation without major or frequent readjustments.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

Physics & Astronomy

First Committee Member (Chair)

Robert Edward Holzer

Second Committee Member

William Hume II

Third Committee Member

Gene T. Pelsor



Document Type


Included in

Physics Commons