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Homework Help: Static electricity

  1. Sep 13, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    " The result of an imbalance of this "fluid" (electrons) between objects is called static electricity. It is called "static" because the displaced electrons tend to remain stationary after being moved from one insulating material to another."

    2. Relevant equations

    These are the lines i found in the topic Static Electricity in web

    3. The attempt at a solution
    According to theory, electrons are continuously revolving around the nucleus. They never remain stationary. So how displaced electrons tend to remain stationary. Please clarify, revered members
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2011 #2
    It means charge is not moving about.
    And revolving around nucleus is rather little moving about as compared to the dimensions electrostatics deal with.It means its not flowing through a conductor and all.
  4. Sep 14, 2011 #3
    Sir, thanks for the reply. But can you elaborate more? I dont get a clear picture. Pls..
  5. Sep 14, 2011 #4
    Let me try. All objects contain electrons. Neutral objects contain equal numbers of protons and electrons. Charged objects contain an imbalance: more electrons, negative charge; less electrons, positive charge. Static electricity refers to the situation where an object has a charge NOT bound in the atomic structure, but existing on the surface of the object.
    Take a wool cloth and rub a plastic golf tube. You will transfer electrons from the wool to the golf tube. The wool will become positive, and the golf tube will become negative. The charge will exist on those objects until neutralized by grounding, or allowing excess electrons to flow into the wool, and excess electrons to flow out of the golf tube.

    The charge is external to the atoms of the objects, residing on the surface. It may polarize the atoms or molecules of the objects, but does not ionize them.
  6. Sep 15, 2011 #5
    The atom remains stationary,or the movement of atoms(molecules) is random and there is no net movement.Ie,The the electron stays on the atom or moves about from atom to atom in such a random way such that there is no net flow of charge across any surface of the conductor.

    The thing you need to understand is,"Electrons buzzing around the nucleus doesnt contribute to any flow of charge(ie its stationary in the atom)"
    .If the electrons moved across atoms in a definite direction,then it would lead to flow of charge,and throw this out of electroSTATICS. Ie the charges are stationary.And electrons revolving around nucleus is so little movement that its approximately stationary.If all electrons moved in a particular direction,then it would be flow of charge.(Actually,electrons dont really revolve around the nucleus,as you will come to know later...)
  7. Sep 17, 2011 #6
    Thanks for the reply pabloenigma and lptull.
  8. Dec 25, 2011 #7
    I have a question relating this topic, plz help me find it out..
    In case an insulator charged by friction is brought near ta a conductor it gets the charges on conductor induced or polarized.. what if it is actually touched with a conductor, would the excess charges now flow in between them?
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