## Static Electricity

Static electricity is an excess of electric charge trapped on the surface of an object. The charge remains until it is allowed to escape to an object with a weaker or opposite electrical charge, such as the ground, by means of an electric current or electrical discharge. Static electricity is named in contrast with current electricity, which flows through cables or other conductors and transmits energy.

A static electric charge is created whenever two surfaces come into contact and separate, and at least one of the surfaces has a high resistance to electrical current (and is therefore an electrical insulator). The effects of static electricity are familiar to most people because people can feel, hear, and even see the spark as the excess charge is neutralized when brought close to a big electrical conductor (for example, a path to ground), or a region with an excess charge of the opposite polarity (positive or negative). The familiar phenomenon of a static shock–more specifically, an electrostatic discharge–is caused by the neutralization of charge.

### Static Electricity

Static Electricity

Static Electricity

Static Electricity

Static electricity is an imbalance of electric charges within or on the surface of a material. The charge remains until it is able to move away by means of an electric current or electrical discharge. Static electricity is named in contrast with current electricity, which flows through wires or other conductors and transmits energy.[1]

A static electric charge is created whenever two surfaces contact and separate, and at least one of the surfaces has a high resistance to electrical current (and is therefore an electrical insulator). The effects of static electricity are familiar to most people because people can feel, hear, and even see the spark as the excess charge is neutralized when brought close to a large electrical conductor (for example, a path to ground), or a region with an excess charge of the opposite polarity (positive or negative). The familiar phenomenon of a static shock–more specifically, an electrostatic discharge–is caused by the neutralization of charge.

Static electricity is an imbalance of electric charges within or on the surface of a material. The charge remains until it is able to move away by means of an electric current or electrical discharge. Static electricity is named in contrast with current electricity, which flows through wires or other conductors and transmits energy.[1]

A static electric charge is created whenever two surfaces contact and separate, and at least one of the surfaces has a high resistance to electrical current (and is therefore an electrical insulator). The effects of static electricity are familiar to most people because people can feel, hear, and even see the spark as the excess charge is neutralized when brought close to a large electrical conductor (for example, a path to ground), or a region with an excess charge of the opposite polarity (positive or negative). The familiar phenomenon of a static shock–more specifically, an electrostatic discharge–is caused by the neutralization of charge.

Materials are made of atoms that are normally electrically neutral because they contain equal numbers of positive charges (protons in their nuclei) and negative charges (electrons in “shells” surrounding the nucleus). The phenomenon of static electricity requires a separation of positive and negative charges. When two materials are in contact, electrons may move from one material to the other, which leaves an excess of positive charge on one material, and an equal negative charge on the other. When the materials are separated they retain this charge imbalance.

Electrons can be exchanged between materials on contact; materials with weakly bound electrons tend to lose them while materials with sparsely filled outer shells tend to gain them. This is known as the triboelectric effect and results in one material becoming positively charged and the other negatively charged. The polarity and strength of the charge on a material once they are separated depends on their relative positions in the triboelectric series. The triboelectric effect is the main cause of static electricity as observed in everyday life, and in common high-school science demonstrations involving rubbing different materials together (e.g., fur against an acrylic rod). Contact-induced charge separation causes your hair to stand up and causes “static cling” (for example, a balloon rubbed against the hair becomes negatively charged; when near a wall, the charged balloon is attracted to positively charged particles in the wall, and can “cling” to it, appearing to be suspended against gravity).