Static electricity is created when an atom's positive and negative charges are out of balance. You can create static electricity by rubbing two insulators together, for instance, rubbing a balloon against your head makes static electricity that makes your hairs stand up. This holiday is a great opportunity to teach your kids about static electricity and do fun experiments together!
Static electricity is the build up of an electrical charge on the surface of an object. It's called "static" because the charges remain in one area rather than moving or "flowing" to another area.
History of Static Electricity
Static electricity was first discovered in the sixth century B.C by Greek Philosopher, Thales of Miletus by rubbing amber until small dust particles began to stick to it. Three hundred years later, Theophrastus followed up these findings by experimenting with rubbing other types of stone - but neither found an explanation for what they saw. It wasn’t until 2,000 or more years later that the English word “electricity” was first coined from the Latin word “electricus” meaning “like amber”. Many experiments were conducted by Benjamin Franklin in his quest to understand the underlying mechanism of electricity – which is one of the reasons why his face smiles from the US $100 bill.
Lightening is a powerful form of static electricity
Static electricity will build up faster on a dry, non-humid day
Static electricity travels at the speed of light
Printers and copiers use static to attract the ink or toner to the paper
One spark of static can measure thousands of volts
The reason it is called “static” is that there is no current or flow of electrons
Static build happens on our bodies nearly every time we move, not just when we rub our feet on the carpet
Given the right circumstances, static electricity has been known to start fires, cause explosions, and cause serious harm to those in the vicinity when it occurred.