How Can I Make Static Electricity?


Quick Answer

There are many ways to make static electricity. To create a small amount of static electricity a person can develop a static charge by rubbing a glass rod with a silk cloth or amber against wool. The static charge will allow the glass and the amber to attract small amounts of paper and plastic.

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How Can I Make Static Electricity?
Credit: Cheryl Reed CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

Static electricity happens through atoms. All matter, such as the glass rod and the silk cloth, are made up of atoms and atoms are made of charged particles. Atoms have neutrons, protons and a surrounding shell that is made of electrons. In most cases, matter is neutrally charged, which means that the number of protons and electrons are the same. If an atom has more electrons than protons it is negatively charged, but if it has more protons than electrons it is positively charged.

Sometimes, when two materials come into contact with each other one of the materials can take electrons from the other. When the materials are separated, they have a charge imbalance. The way that static electricity works is through an imbalance of charges on a piece a material. Another way to create static electricity is through a Van de Graaff generator, which is designed to show off the effects of static electricity.

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