Static Electricity powered toy car project for school

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

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 material and the other material repel/attract to move the car. So the help i wanted was, which material should i use to get a good charge, so that the car can move?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
sophiecentaur
Science Advisor
Gold Member
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4,616
Hi and welcome.
A nice thought but electric forces don't work over big distances (certainly not with the charges and voltages that you could hope to use). Your charged material would / could attract or repel the car and cause it to roll forward by not many millimetres but, by that time the force would have dropped off to almost zero. If you do a search for Electrostatic Experiments on Google, (try the Images Option) you will see the sort of demonstration that is actually possible. Quite entertaining but not in the league of moving a model car along.
One thing you could try would be to use two plates with opposite charges and pull the one plate which would attract the one on the car. But it would be you who is pulling the car. The two plates would just be the coupling.
PS Party balloons are big and light and you can easily support one of those after you have rubbed it on your head. (See your Google images search.
 
  • #3
Hi and welcome.
A nice thought but electric forces don't work over big distances (certainly not with the charges and voltages that you could hope to use). Your charged material would / could attract or repel the car and cause it to roll forward by not many millimetres but, by that time the force would have dropped off to almost zero. If you do a search for Electrostatic Experiments on Google, (try the Images Option) you will see the sort of demonstration that is actually possible. Quite entertaining but not in the league of moving a model car along.
One thing you could try would be to use two plates with opposite charges and pull the one plate which would attract the one on the car. But it would be you who is pulling the car. The two plates would just be the coupling.
PS Party balloons are big and light and you can easily support one of those after you have rubbed it on your head. (See your Google images search.
Thanks :DDDDD
 

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