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Why does rubber make a spark?

  1. Mar 16, 2009 #1

    eRa

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    Rubber is an insulator, so why does it make a spark upon friction with the floor?
    What would be a good material for shoe soles to avoid this problem?!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2009 #2
    Are you sure you were not seeing the spark from a piece of rock or metal embedded in the sole of someone's shoe?
     
  4. Mar 16, 2009 #3

    eRa

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    yes I am.
    I did not see it. It was a part of an answer to a phy question in my solution manual!
     
  5. Mar 16, 2009 #4
    If you have never seen it, why is it a problem with shoes?
     
  6. Mar 16, 2009 #5

    eRa

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    does it really matter to you if it involves shoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?
    & believe it or not the question was about shoes!!!!!
     
  7. Mar 16, 2009 #6
    There is no such thing as a perfect insulator. Your question doesn't have any sense of magnitude to it. This is important for determining when things matter and when they don't. People use rubber soled shoes, right? What does that tell you?
     
  8. Mar 16, 2009 #7
    It is because of a build up of static electricity caused by friction,electrons are scraped off one insulator and dumped on another.In air an electric field strength of about three million volts per metre can cause discharge and a spark.The most dramatic demonstration of sparking is with lightning strikes but even small sparks can be dangerous eg in environments where there are flammable materials.
     
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