How does a static shock happen?

Static electricity is created when positive and negative charges aren't balanced. Protons and neutrons don't move around much, but electrons love to jump all over the place! When an object (or person) has extra electrons, it has a negative charge.

What causes the buildup of static electricity?

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.
  • What type of material will create the most static electricity?

    Materials that tend to gain or lose electrons include wool, human hair, dry skin, silk, nylon, tissue paper, plastic wrap and polyester—and when testing these materials you should have found that they moved the aluminum ball similarly to how the Styrofoam plate did.
  • How do you ground yourself?

    Part 2 Grounding Yourself
    1. Touch grounded metal objects occasionally. This must be unpainted metal with a clear ground path, such as a metal radiator.
    2. Ground yourself with an anti-static wristband. These cheap devices are sold at electronics stores.
    3. Ground the computer case.
    4. Work on an ESD mat.
  • What is the Coulomb's law?

    Coulomb's law states that: The magnitude of the electrostatic force of attraction or repulsion between two point charges is directly proportional to the product of the magnitudes of charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

Updated: 2nd October 2019

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