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Homework Help: Static electricity question

  1. Jan 31, 2005 #1
    Tomorrow I have to do a demo in physics regarding static electricity. I am going to rub a comb against the inside of my sweatshirt and then attract tissue paper to it. I don't understand how to explain why this happens.

    Is the comb neutral at first, then when you rub it to the sweatshirt it gains electrons and has a negative charge? Is the tissue paper a positive charge because opposites attract? Please explain this to me if I am wrong. Thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2005 #2

    Doc Al

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    Staff: Mentor

    polarization force

    That's right.
    The tissue paper is neutral (no net charge), but the field from the charged comb polarizes the atoms in the paper. Since the positive charges in the paper are closer to the negative comb than the negative charges are, there is a net attractive force (called a polarization force) between the paper and the comb.
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