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Static Electricity. Experiment: Van de Graaff Generator. Predict (discuss) Has anyone used this before? What do you think will happen? Observe What happens? Explain (discuss in small groups and give an explanation) Why is this happening? Give an explanation.

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experiment van de graaff generator
Experiment: Van de Graaff Generator

Predict (discuss)

  • Has anyone used this before?
  • What do you think will happen?


  • What happens?

Explain(discuss in small groups and give an explanation)

  • Why is this happening? Give an explanation.
  • How does lightning occur? What happens when you get a shock?


Please Explain

safety with van de graaff generator
Safety with Van de Graaff Generator


  • Need a volunteer.
  • Stand on plastic chair and place one hand on generator.
  • Turn generator on.
  • When finish turn generator off.
  • Remove hand.




how can we move electrons away from each other
How can we move electrons away from each other
  • Activity 1- Balloon and hair
  • Activity 2 - Charging a rod (paper and streaming water)
static electricity1
Static Electricity
  • Is the imbalance of positive and negative charges
so how does a balloon stick to a wall
So... How does a balloon stick to a wall?
  • If you charge a balloon by rubbing it on your hair, it picks up extra electrons and has a negative charge.
  • Holding it near a neutral object will make the charges in that object move.
  • If it is a conductor, many electrons move easily to the other side, as far from the balloon as possible.
  • If it is an insulator, the electrons in the atoms and molecules can only move very slightly to one side, away from the balloon.
  • In either case, there are more positive charges closer to the negative balloon. Opposites attract. The balloon sticks. (At least until the electrons on the balloon slowly leak off.)
  • It works the same way for neutral and positively charged objects.

Conductor – is a material which allows electricity to pass through it easily. E.g. Metals,

  • Insulator – do not conduct electricity
movement of c harged particles
Movement of Charged Particles
  • If two things have different charges, they attract, or pull towards each other. If two things have the same charge, they repel, or push away from each other.
so why does your hair stand on end
So why does your hair stand on end?
  • When you take off your wool hat, it rubs against your hair.
  • Electrons move from your hair to the hat.
  • A static charge builds up and now each of the hairs has the same positive charge.
  • Remember, things with the same charge repel each other.
  • So the hairs try to get as far from each other as possible. The farthest they can get is by standing up and away from the others. And that is how static electricity causes a bad hair day!
other examples of static electricity
Other examples of Static Electricity
  • As you walk across a carpet, electrons move from the rug to you. Now you have extra electrons and a negative static charge.
  • Touch a door knob and ZAP! The door knob is a conductor. The electrons jump from you to the knob, and you feel the static shock.
  • We usually only notice staticelectricity in the winter when the air is very dry. During the summer, the air is more humid. The water in the air helps electrons move off you more quickly, so you can not build up as big a static charge.

Static Electricity- Learn about static charge and static charge by Science made Simple