National Static Electricity Day

handA Hair Raising Experience


You’ve heard of static electricity.  That’s when you scuff you feet across the rug. You now have a negative static charge and a few extra electrons on your body. There are electrons that pass on from the rug on to you. Then you touch someone and there’s a spark, you feel a snap or pop and a tingle goes through your arm or fingers. When you touch a metal door knob, which is a conductor, the electrons leap from you to the metal, causing a static shock.

In school someone takes their hat off and poof it’s standing straight up, like they were scared. This happens because, when we take off our hat, it brushes against the hair.  Each hair has electrons with the same charge and they push away from each other, causing your hair to stand straight up.

Use National Static Electricity day to learn how static electricity works. Here are some easy experiments to prove this theory. Cut paper into small pieces, take a plastic ruler and rub it against your hair, and move the plastic ruler above the paper. The pieces of paper will stick or move toward the ruler. This is static force. It attracts the atoms from the paper to stick to the ruler. Since they have different charges, the paper is attracted to the ruler.

Rub a balloon on a sweater. The balloon collects negative electrical charges and the sweater collects positive charges. Now put the balloon near a wall, which does not have an excess of either charge. It will stick to the wall and can also stick to the sweater. The charges may jump back to the original material, in a short time. Celebrate National Static Electricity by trying a couple of these fun experiments. You will have a shocking good time.