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Homework Help: Why do sparks occur only on a dry day?

  1. May 2, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I think water prevents the sparks because it has a dipole thing. But I really do not know how sparks occur only on a dry day, like when you get charged and you touch some metal thing. And, I also want to know why electric sparks occur. From what I read, I think electrons move @ high speed from the source to the destination through air, and collide with air particles that cause sparks

    Thanks a lot!
  2. jcsd
  3. May 2, 2007 #2


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    Gold Member

    The kind of sparks made by static electricity require big charges to build up on cars, carpets, door handles and so on. On a damp day, the air is more conductive and the charge leaks away. If you had a spark machine, it would work on any day because it does not depend on chance the build up of static charge.
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