Definition of Static Electricity and Examples

Natural phenomena and everyday life are often not realized by many people that it comes from the concept of static electricity. In general, the phenomenon of the emergence of electricity is due to charge, movement of electrons, induction, and potential difference.

This electricity is present either naturally or artificially but cannot move through conductors or conductors. Details about what is meant by static electricity along with examples you can see in the review below.

Definition of Static Electricity

What is meant by static electricity? Static electricity is electricity that consists of stationary (fixed) charges due to an imbalance between negative and positive charges (accumulation of excess charge) on a non-conducting object.

Static electricity was first discovered independently by the physicist Belanjda Pieter van Musschenbroek of the University of Leiden in 1746 and the German Scientist Ewald Georg von Kleist in 1745.

Then in 1832 Michael Faraday proved that static electricity is the same as that produced by batteries or generators.

Some of the benefits of static electricity in everyday life can be found in car painting tools, electric generators, photocopiers, smoke and dust pollution control, and room air filtering tools.

To understand in more detail, see the explanation of the basic foundation for the formation of static electricity below.

  • Electrical charge

Electric charge is the factor that determines whether electricity will occur or be available in an object. For example, a stable object such as a ruler will not have a large potential.

However, you use a cloth and then swipe it quickly or with a magnet. The ruler undergoes a change in charge so that a potential difference appears which is able to drain the charge.

  • Unbalanced condition

An example of a ruler is also called an unbalanced condition. When there is no cloth, the status is still stable and every component does not move. After being given a potential difference, there is an imbalance so that the charges must carry out electric motion until they reach equilibrium.

Basic Concepts of Static Electricity

Basically all objects that have a physical consist of an Atom. An atom contains protons, electrons and neutrons. Protons are positively charged, electrons are negatively charged, and neutrons are neutral.

Opposite charges attract each other (negative to positive). Like charges repel each other (positive to positive or negative to negative). And sometimes the positive and negative charges have a balanced value so that the object’s neutrons are neutral.

Static electricity occurs due to an imbalance between negative and positive charges on an object. These charges can accumulate on the surface of an object until it finds a way to be released or emptied. One way to release it is through an electronic circuit.

You can find out how static electricity works when you rub two objects together, they can transfer negative charges (electrons) to each other.

For example, when you rub your shoes on a hairy carpet, your body will collect extra electrons, the electrons stick to your body until they can be released.

After you finish rubbing your shoes on the carpet and then touch the furry cat, you will be surprised for a moment because there is static electricity that arises due to the excess electrons released by your body on the cat.

Difference Between Static and Dynamic Electricity

The difference between static and dynamic electricity in general lies in the nature of the work of the electron charge, in static electricity electric current cannot move/flow, while in dynamic electricity electric current can move and flow in a circuit.

If there is static then there must be dynamic. To find out more about the differences between static and dynamic electricity, consider the following reviews:

  • Dynamic electricity

This kind of electricity, for example, is a battery and a generator source. The battery components are intentionally made to create a potential difference.

After being connected to a conductor, the positive charge immediately goes to the negative until it becomes balanced. The electricity can change like current and voltage so it is expressed as dynamic.

  • Static electricity

Although static electricity is also able to flow to other objects, one of the obstacles is the ability to remain stable and maintain a supply of electron charge. There can’t be direct lightning to lights or electronics. This happens because the charge is unstable and moves freely so that equilibrium occurs.

Static and dynamic are based on whether they can be streamed to other components or not. If charge moves through a conductor and is converted to energy, this is of the dynamic type. If it is not capable, then the current flow is definitely a static type.

Examples of Static Electricity Symptoms

Examples of static electricity symptoms you can find by rubbing the surface of two non-conducting objects. For example, by rubbing a plastic ruler on a woolen cloth and then sticking the ruler on a small piece of paper, the paper will stick to the ruler.

  • Electricity in Lightning

An obvious example of static electricity is lightning. Clouds containing water then rub against the air and free particles causing an imbalance of charge.

Electricity immediately appears and immediately moves in any direction to balance. For example, striking the earth or a building that has a high potential difference. This is an example of static electricity because you cannot use that electricity.

  • Electricity from the Friction of a Ruler and Cloth

The second experiment can be made by using a ruler or other conducting object such as iron and then rubbing it with a cloth. The surface will be hot and an electric spark will appear. When you’re combing, you sometimes find it difficult to remove the comb. Hair is also capable of changing charge if it is frequently exposed to friction.

The concept of induction is also useful for explaining static electricity. You use a magnet and then it is swiped against an object. The nature of the magnet will appear and cause a charge difference. With the same principle, you use two different objects where one is able to distinguish different potentials that will move later.

  • Electricity from Foot Friction and Carpet

The next experiment you can prove by rubbing your feet on a carpet repeatedly, then you hold a furry cat / dog, then you will be surprised because there is static electricity that arises from this process.

  • Using a Plastic Comb on Hair

When you do the activity of combing hair, you may not realize that sometimes the hair that we comb seems to be carried away by the friction of the comb. This is where static electricity is formed due to the interaction of the charge on the comb with our hair.

  • Rubbing Balloons on Hair

The next experiment you can try by rubbing the balloon into your dry hair repeatedly, then bring it close to a small stream of water.

  • Electricity on Tube TV

Symptoms of static electricity also occur when turning the television on and off. The electricity is on the surface of the tube but has little potential. You check by hand then it feels something interesting.

This concept is similar to sending signals from a touch on a smartphone. The screen is electrified and the touch signal is converted as a command. Because it is static, you need a power source to do this.

  • Sticking Balloons to the Wall

The last experiment you can prove by rubbing a balloon repeatedly into your clothes and then sticking the balloon on the wall of the house.

The balloon will stick to the wall because when you rub it on clothes, you have added an excess of electrons (negative charge) to the surface of the balloon.

When the balloon is attached, the wall has more positive charge than the balloon. When the two touch, the balloon will stick together due to the opposite rules of attraction (positive to negative).

Static electricity is very closely related to life around us but is not directly realized. This type is not a source of electricity but as evidence that the electric phenomenon does exist. On the other hand, the scale is also not large and its function is limited to complement.

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