What is Static electricity: Definition and 122 Discussions

Static electricity is an imbalance of electric charges within or on the surface of a material. The charge remains until it is able to move away by means of an electric current or electrical discharge. Static electricity is named in contrast with current electricity, which flows through wires or other conductors and transmits energy.A static electric charge can be created whenever two surfaces contact and have worn and separated, and at least one of the surfaces has a high resistance to electric current (and is therefore an electrical insulator). The effects of static electricity are familiar to most people because people can feel, hear, and even see the spark as the excess charge is neutralized when brought close to a large electrical conductor (for example, a path to ground), or a region with an excess charge of the opposite polarity (positive or negative). The familiar phenomenon of a static shock – more specifically, an electrostatic discharge – is caused by the neutralization of charge.

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  1. C

    Static electricity, cell phone in a rubber case

    Please be kind - have probably a silly question about static electricity, the type when you walk across a carpet and touch something and you get a spark/shock on your finger. Hoping someone here can answer as I’m getting confused. If I’m holding say a cell phone in a rubber case and I have...
  2. J

    Elevated Geiger Counter Radiation Reading for Envelope?

    I previously purchased a Geiger counter (GQ Electronics GMC-600+) for a university lab and have been confused about an elevated radiation reading from the envelope the Geiger counter came in. The envelope was a USPS Priority Mail bubble mailer envelope...
  3. E

    I Meaning of "Static Electricity" and Physical Interpretation

    If a balloon and a sweater are rubbed together, high-school science teachers like to say "the electrons transferred to the balloon in the form of static electricity." Then, it is often charming to show that two such balloons repel one another "because they have more electrons." Can we unpack...
  4. Steven Ellet

    Understanding and Interpreting Data from Static Electricity Meter Experiments

    My static electricity meter won’t stay zero when I am not moving and when I am electrically grounded. Video: EDIT: Can you see this? shorturl.at/jsGV0
  5. smiddleton26

    Misc. Expand balloon with static electricity

    The idea is to wrap a balloon in several layers of material, similar to that used in electrostatic adhesion wall climbing robots, and run power through the layers. The electrostatic charge on the layers outside the balloon will build up and the air inside the balloon will begin to become...
  6. Steven Ellet

    Can Ancient Methods of Grounding Protect Against Static Electricity?

    I know there are straps with grounding wire(s) to protect sensitive equipment. I am trying to avoid being shocked by every doorknob I try to use. Right now I am just walking around barefoot to prevent this but that just leaves my feet cold. I have also tried using a piece of medal to reduce the...
  7. T

    I Static Electricity -- How best to generate it and use it?

    Hello friends, Was wondering, how would you go about charging an object with a lot of static electricity, and that I could hold. Just like if I had a balloon I just rubbed in my hair but, i don't know, 1000 times stronger... Is that possible, and if so, how could I achieve that ? Thank you...
  8. T

    What materials produce higher levels of static electricity?

    A lot of people know the example of a carpet and a doorknob. You accidentally rub your foot to the carpet and then get a static shock after touching the doorknob. Why does carpet produce higher static electricity than for example hardwood or something. Is it because of the hairs? Is it because...
  9. The-dude

    Static Electricity- Solving Material Placement Issues

    Hello, I'm trying to solve a material placement issue at work and I'm exploring the idea of using static electricity to solve it. We currently combine two materials together using a heat activated glue that's sandwiched between the two materials and pressed together using a heat press...
  10. danielhaish

    Which surfaces get positively charge by grabbing (static electricity)

    So is it becouse the material or becouse the fact that the balloon is the object that moves and the hair is static. and does every two objects that been grabed together will nacessrly continues each other. and also why does the minos of a bttary doesn't stick to the flower
  11. A

    Confused about Polarization and Induction - Static Electricity

    Hello. Recently we began taking static electricity and our teacher asked us to do a research paper on static electricity and charges in general to help us understand the material better. I've been stuck a bit on trying to understand what's the difference between polarization and induction and...
  12. atommo

    Limit to generating static electricity via contact?

    Let's say you are rubbing a balloon on your hair to make it charged. If you then discharge the balloon and rub it on your hair again (and repeat this process numerous times). Would your hair run out of electrons so eventually you would be unable to charge the balloon, or would your hair gain...
  13. F

    Rubber soled slippers generating static electricity

    I started having this problem with wearing slippers (or any shoes with rubber soles) in the house because the rubber, rubs the carpet and charges me up. Anything metal that I touch gives me a mild-nasty shock depending on how charged up I am. I tried different kinds of slippers and socks, I...
  14. N

    Build an Efficient Electrostatic Generator: Tips, Tricks, and Resources

    Hi all Interested in making an electrostatic generator, anyone have experience of building one and also what type would be the most efficient build induction or friction based? Lots of info on the net regarding the principles but and good books for this or websites? Also how best to...
  15. N

    Electrostatics from particle laden air

    Is it possible to generate static electricity from air flow containing particles example smoke or dust flow, or does anyone know of experiments such as the kelvin water dropper converted to generate static from air flow ? Thanks
  16. spareine

    Electrostatic levitation of hair

    If a person with long thin hair touches a Van de Graaff generator, his hair will begin to levitate by electrostatic repulsion. The body is a conductor. Hair is an isolator, so the charge cannot flow through the shaft from root to end. To me it is unclear whether the hair is charged...
  17. M

    How Can Static Electricity Be Controlled in Textile Spinning Machines?

    My application is for textile spinning machine where Rubber roller is running at a speed of 10000 rpm. Another rubber (stationary)is rubbing on the rubber roller surface. In this case cotton fibers are sticking on the surface of stationary rubber due to static electricity and over the period it...
  18. C

    Quantifying Static Electricity Hazard with High Explosives

    In the making of firework explosives, the explosive mixtures are handled with great care to avoid static electricity induced detonation of the explosives. Is it a good idea that they store the explosives in a plastic container - isn't there a risk of static buildup that could detonate the...
  19. F

    Static Electricity and dc motor

    If take a simple dc motor and connect the negative side to let's say a insulated metal plate. The other side directly to ground and you then turn the shaft of the motor. Would you force all of the free (loosely using all) electrons in the insulated metal plate through the motor to ground giving...
  20. S

    How do planes discharge static electricity when refuelling?

    I know that planes have static dischargers (static wicks) on the trailing edges of wings to discharge static electricity when they are flying. I was wondering how a plane, let's say with electrically resistive fibreglass wings, would discharge this without having sparks ignite while it's...
  21. A

    Understanding Static Charge on Circuit Boards: Magnitude & Human Touch

    What is the magnitude of the static charge induced on a circuit board when a human touches it? I mean approximately.
  22. K

    Static Electricity powered toy car project for school

    I have to make a project for school, so I thought that i can make a static electricity car. I wanted to make a car, and stick/put a material behind the car which creates a charge, and then take another material which creates a charge, and rub it. As it creates static electricity, the cars...
  23. R

    B How to prevent static from building up on me

    I've recently been developing a lot of static electricity and it's very annoying as I get shocked when i touch metal objects or other people. This isn't like it happens every time I touch something though. It just happens after I take off my jacket for example. So then I have to find some metal...
  24. F

    Static Electricity: Does it Attract Food Waste?

    Is food waste attracted by the static electricity?
  25. S

    Why Does Static Electricity Behave Unpredictably in Everyday Phenomena?

    This is all related to GCSE content, but it doesn't go into enough depth for it to make sense: When a balloon sticks to a wall after becoming negatively charged, why does the surface of the wall become positively charged? I would assume that the repulsion between negative charges forces the...
  26. weezy

    Why is current in Van De Graaff generator so low?

    I know that current depends on the impedance and potential difference b/w two points so why does a van de graaff generator pose no serious shock hazard i.e. why the extremely low current between the generator and ground? As seen in this video demonstration the instructor safely touches the...
  27. E

    Static Electricity -- how does it work?

    in my physics lab we did an expirement where we had to use an vernier electrostatic kit. So it consisted of placing a metal can inside a metal cage, and both were attached to an plastic disk, and below was a metal plate which was used for grounding. A black wire was connected from the cage to...
  28. F

    Volumentric or surface charge density

    Homework Statement It is known that the potencial is given as V = 80 ρ0.6 volts. Assuming free space conditions, find a) E, b) the volume charge density at ρ=0.5 m and c) the total charge lying withing the closed surface ρ=0.6, 0<z<1 Homework Equations E[/B]=-∇VThe Attempt at a Solution (this...
  29. H

    Static electricity and D Trump physics pic

    as far as I know this is real, from Scotland. could be a good discussion starter for static electricity;
  30. I

    Static Electricity: Can You Still Get a Shock Off the Ground?

    A (possibly stupid) static electricity question: Person A is carrying an electrostatic charge. They touch person B, both get a shock. If both persons were off the ground(eg hanging from ropes) ...would they still get a shock?
  31. Biker

    Static Electricity: Why We Get Shocks on Carpet & Door Knobs

    Here is the rub. Most of the online sources and in a kind of statement in my book says that we gain a negative charge when we rub our feet on the carpet. So when we touch a door knob we get a electric shock because the electrons is transferred from us to the door knob However, Shouldn't it be...
  32. Julian102

    Electric intensity at orthocenter of a triangle.

    Homework Statement At the vertices of a triangle there are + 5C, -7C, -3C of charge respectively. What is the electric intensity and direction at its orthocentre? Homework Equations Each side of the triangle is 1 mm in length. The Attempt at a Solution [/B] I failed to find the distance of...
  33. W

    How to Create a Charge Separation to Migrate Ions in Solution

    Howdy, I am working in a research lab at The Ohio State University. I need to separate positively charged ions that are intramolecularly bound to negative counterions. I was hoping to use use static electricity to do this. Any suggestions on the power supply/control to do this?Lucas
  34. E

    Static electricity and dry cell

    As it is said , if we hold the higher potential of a battery via a wire without touching the ground, some of the static electricity gets stored into us. Does that mean that the voltage of the higher potential reduces due to loss of charges.
  35. D

    Capactor as static electricity generator

    Suppose I first charge a capacitor so that one plate is positively charged and another negatively. Now I remove the charging source and ground only one of the terminals say negative terminal, will there be a net positive charge in the capacitor that can be detected by a pith ball? Can a...
  36. G

    Classic Static Electricity Balloon Example

    Homework Statement 1. Explain why a balloon sticks to a wall after being rubbed on your shirt (remember the wall is not metal and does not have "free" electrons") 2. Include a balanced force diagram that includes the electrical force and gravitational force (assume electrical force is twice...
  37. L

    Unknown material on electrostatic series

    Hey, my teacher gave us this scenario and I didn't really understand how he went about doing this. I was wondering if there was someone who could shed some light. Thanks! You have a new material in front of you titled Material Gamma. You want to get a very rough approximation as to the...
  38. R

    Static electricity shock: Can it ever be lethal?

    I was wondering, is it possible to charge oneself with static to an extent that would be lethal or even damaging to a significant extent beyond the usual discomfort? What are the governing calculations? Instead of the usual carpets would any other materials in an exceedingly dry climate give...
  39. 655piano

    Electrical Fixing Warped Hemispheres for a DIY Van De Graaff Generator

    Ok, so I'm building a Van De Graaff generator from parts I've been collecting for some time now. I have 2 hemispherical bowls that were supposed to line up perfectly to make the ball at the top. shipping has warped them just the slightest bit. I'm wondering if this will produce coronal leakage...
  40. P

    Static Electricity corrupting electrical equipment

    I need help. I am installing new networked alarm panels throughout a building. There is a room where one panel is and that panel is continually having components fail. While in this room it is also very common for me to receive a static shock when coming in contact with any metal. I realize...
  41. B

    Electric Charge in Dogs - Science Explained

    Hi, I've got a question which I can't google, I' haven't found anything about this. My dog simply shock me. Yes, I know static electricity and stuff but I wonder why this happens only when he is excited about something? For example I tell him that we're going for a walk and when I touch him he...
  42. Steven Ellet

    Static electricity measurement

    Would a Klein Tools Non-Contact Voltage Tester or similar be able to measure static electricity? If not what will? https://www.google.com/search?q=how...hop&q=Klein Tools Non-Contact Voltage Tester
  43. R

    Water bending with static electricity

    thinking about growing cacti in a tropical climate...could i perhaps build a charged scaffold around them to keep most of the rainwater away? if this is possible i might lose the walls i tend to stay in as well by upscaling it.
  44. C

    Diagram to show static electricity

    static electricity diagram Hello! I am new here! I need your help... How would I draw a simple diagram to show how static electricity is made use of in a photocopier to position the black toner where is needed. It sounds a litte bit tricky and I think how it would looks like. Thanks in...
  45. A

    Exploring Static Electricity: The Science Behind Balloon and Paper Interactions

    I was reading that if a balloon is rubbed against cloth, it becomes charged and therefore it sticks to a wall for a short time if I place it against a wall. So how come if I have a non-static charge (current charge) and then I placed small bits of paper besides it, the paper doesn't stick as...
  46. M

    Static Electricity Generator

    I am using a negative ion generator module that I purchased to generate a static electric charge in a 4' x 7' aluminized mylar blanket. I made a cage out of 3/4" PVC tubing to hang the mylar from (vertically) - I want to suspend the mylar from the PVC so that the mylar is insulated from any...
  47. Steven Ellet

    Can Static Electricity be Measured and How Dangerous Can it Be?

    How do I measure static electricity or is it even possible?
  48. O

    Current from static electricity

    If I rub my socks around on the carpet, then touch the end of my unplugged laptop charger, and get a spark, why doesn't the breaker pop?
  49. T

    Static Electricity vs Current in a Closed Circuit

    Hi, I'm an automotive technician. I have trouble understanding a couple basic electrical concepts. The problem is that I am more or less taught that current flows through CIRCUITs. When analyzing electrical problems, I think current will only flow if there is a voltage (potential...
  50. P

    Static Electricity: Charging by Friction: Understanding MIT demo

    MIT has a Physics Demo called "Rubber and Glass Rods with Tinsel and Balloon" (Not sure if I can post links but easily found on youtube). I have watched the video several times but am a bit puzzled. First the lab technician charges the rod by friction but then when he moves it close to the...