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This publication presents the collected works of Heinz-Wolfram Kasemir, a prolific researcher in many branches of atmospheric electricity, with commentaries by Lothar Ruhnke and Vladislav Mazur. Because many of his papers were not reviewed by his peers, it is a rare opportunity to experience the real thinking of a prominent scientist in the field of atmospheric electricity.
Several of his contributions stand out as most significant for the development of this science:
- Kasemir developed a physically-sound theory about the transfer of charges from thunderstorms to global fair-weather areas.
- Kasemir’s theory of atmospheric current flow influenced calculations of (1) the electric field and current pattern of cloud charges in the presence of conductivity increasing with altitude, (2) the time-function for a lightning electric field that changes from electrostatic to one driven by conductivity, and (3) the effect of conductivity changes at cloud boundaries on their screening charges, and consequently, on surface electric fields.
- Kasemir’s revolutionary idea that lightning develops as a bi-directional leader with a zero-net charge, proposed in 1950, had a major impact on the development of lightning physics.
- Kasemir’s analysis of influence charge on lightning channels in a potential field opened up the area of the physical modeling of lightning processes.