The top of the atmosphere is at about 400 kV with respect to the surface of the earth, corresponding to an electric field that decreases with altitude. Near the surface of the earth, the field is about 100 Vm−1. Why then do we not get an electric shock as we step out of our house into the open? (Assume the house to be a steel cage so there is no field inside!)
We do not get an electric shock as we step out of our house because the original equipotential surfaces of open-air change, keeping our body and the ground at the same potential.
Concept: Equipotential Surfaces
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