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

In summary, a person carrying an electrostatic charge will shock another person if there is a difference in charge between them. If both persons are off the ground and not earthed, the shock may be less intense but there will still be a transfer of charge.
  • #1
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?
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  • #2
Why wouldn't they?
  • #3
Because neither are earthed?
  • #4
The difference will be that A won't get completely discharged but its charge will be distributed over the two persons. Like discharging a capacitor on another one.
The peak current may be less than in the other case.
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  • #5
Iamnotarobot120 said:
Because neither are earthed?

they don't have to be
as long as a charge difference exists between them, there will be a transfer of charge

1. What is static electricity?

Static electricity is a type of electric charge that accumulates on the surface of an object, typically due to friction or contact with another charged object. It is caused by an imbalance of positive and negative charges, and can produce a shock when discharged.

2. How is static electricity generated?

Static electricity is generated when two objects with different electrical charges come into contact or are rubbed together. This causes electrons to transfer from one object to the other, creating an imbalance of charges.

3. Can you get a shock from walking on the ground?

Yes, it is possible to get a shock from walking on the ground if the ground is charged with static electricity. This can happen in dry, windy conditions when the ground is not able to dissipate the charge quickly enough.

4. How can you prevent getting shocked by static electricity?

To prevent getting shocked by static electricity, you can wear clothing made of natural fibers, which are less likely to generate static charges. You can also avoid wearing shoes with rubber soles, as they can insulate your body from the ground and prevent the charge from dissipating.

5. Why do you sometimes get a shock when touching a metal object?

Metal objects are good conductors of electricity, so when you touch a metal object that is charged with static electricity, the charge can flow through your body and produce a shock. This is why it is important to discharge any static buildup before touching metal objects, especially in dry environments.

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