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Static Electricity 101

Ever walked across the room to pet your dog and got a shock instead? Ever taken off your hat on a dry winter day and had a "hair raising" experience? Ever made a balloon stick on the wall by rubbing it against your clothes? Is it magic? No – it’s static electricity!


Attraction Action

To understanding static electricity you need to understand the basics of atoms and magnetism first.


All physical objects are made up of atoms. Inside an atom are protons, electrons and neutrons. The protons are positively charged, the electrons are negatively charged, and the neutrons are neutral.



Therefore, all things are made up of charges. Opposite charges attract each other (negative to positive). Like (similar) charges repel each other (positive to positive or negative to negative). Most of the time positive and negative charges are balanced in an object, which makes that object neutral.


Balancing Act

Static electricity is the result of an imbalance between negative and positive charges in an object. These charges can build up on the surface of an object until they find a way to be released or discharged.



The rubbing of certain materials against one another can transfer negative charges, or electrons. For example, if you rub your shoe on the carpet, your body collects extra electrons. The electrons cling to your body until they can be released. As you reach and touch your furry friend, you get a shock. Don't worry: it’s just the surplus electrons being released from you to your unsuspecting pet.



And what about that "hair raising" experience? As you remove your hat, electrons are transferred from hat to hair, creating that interesting hairdo! Remember, objects with the same charge repel each other. Because they have the same charge, your hair will stand on end. Your hairs are simply trying to get as far away from each other as possible!



When you rub a balloon against your clothes and it sticks to the wall, you are adding a surplus of electrons (negative charges) to the surface of the balloon. The wall is now more positively charged than the balloon. As the two come in contact, the balloon will stick because of the rule that opposites attract (positive to negative).


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Static poll

What's your fave static electricity experiment?

  • Making your hhair stand up on end
  • Rubbing your feet on a carpet to get a shock
  • Making a balloon stick to the wall

General In The Forums

AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Debating:
On a "normal" person, Polygraphs have a 70%-90% success rate. Now, the problem is that a lot of people aren't "normal". Some people are naturally anxious or have an anxiety disorder, which can mess up the results. Obese people often tend to sweat more, which will give the sensors bad readings.  So, is it a good tool for finding the truth? In certain circumstances, yes. Is it enough to convict someone of a crime? No. 
reply about 3 hours
XxRuby_PhoenixxX
Definitely not. A person can learn to control their heartbeat and lying skills, so the tests are most definitely NOT a accurate. 
reply about 3 hours
iambatman
iambatman posted in Say Anything:
Kirsteeeeen said I should post this so yeaOk so some things about my depression are like i found out i had it when i was 10. I might of had it before then but Idk. But like is a good thing i joined kw cause that's how my friend on here like figured out that i have depression and basically made me tell my mom and dad. And like also i kinda wanted to die and stuff and then later i kinda wanted to kill my self. And hurt my self. I kinda did a little bit but like not that much. And so like i had to do this weird therapy that didn't work. And then it kept getting worse and stuff and then like i went to the doctor and got some medicine but like they didn't give me any for almost a year probably until i was closer to 12. But the first one they tried made me like wake up sometimes and basically be really anxious like freaking out so much that i thought i might hurt myself or kinda other people or do things like run away. But it kinda helped the depression during the day and helped me to sleep sometimes better but like also i stopped wanting to do anything. So then i got a different one but it made me dizzy as soon as i tried it basically and so like after 3 days maybe then I spotted. But then i had to wait for them to get out of my system. After that i starred like regular therapy where you talk to the therapist. Like people told me it was bad so i really didn't want to go for a long time, but i went and it was kind of fun i guess like i could say anything and he wouldn't like be mad about me saying it or anything like he didn't judge and stuff. So i did that for a while like 2 or 3 months and i was feeling a lot better from that and some off the things we did. But like since my dad got a new job it has different insurance so i have to switch but we're just waiting to see like if i need to right now
reply about 4 hours
AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Debating:
EDIT:  With the events in North Korea, I think it's likely that some sort of military conflict will occur in the near future. But it wouldn't be a "World War". North Korea has two "allies" on the planet, that being China and Russia. China's President has signaled a withdrawal of support from North Korea, and Russia so far has been silent on what's been happening.  Basically, if there is a war, it will likely be The World vs Kim Jong Un. 
reply about 4 hours
Sophieex_
Sophieex_ posted in Debating:
Pretty self-explanatory; debate away! And remember, as always, please be civil! :) ❤️ @Sophieex
reply about 6 hours