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Feedback Comments on Static Electricity

by Ron Kurtus

A total of 686 comments and questions have been sent in. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.

List of next 10 letters




Static Electricity Sparks Sound is produced from electrical spark India
Effect of Materials Where is triboelectric list from? Spain
Generating Static Electricity Charging a copper plate India
Uses for Static Electricity How to use static electricity? USA
Causes of Static Electricity How can static electricity cause a fire? Nigeria
Basics of Static Electricity Some people prone to effects of static electricity USA
Static Sparks Weather balloon on the ceiling Canada
Static Shocks Getting a shock from a faucet USA
Static Cling Flyaway hair in a vehicle India
Electrostatic Induction Function of grounding in electrostatics. Nigeria

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First 10 letters

Sound is produced from electrical spark

Topic: Static Electricity Sparks


February 3, 2014

Sir,i have a question that "Why the sound is produced from electrical spark".

Happy - India



When electrons rapidly jump across a space, they heat up the air until it it white-hot. The heated air expands until the electrons have stopped. Then the air quickly cools and collapses, making a snapping sound. It all happens very fast and on a small scale.

The noise from thunder works the same way, except on a much larger scale.

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Where is triboelectric list from?

Topic: Effect of Materials


February 1, 2014

Hi there, thanks for the article.
I still have a major doubt though. How do we know that when a balloon is rubbed on hair the balloon gets negatively charged? Looking at the triboelectric table tells us this should be so, but how was the table compiled in the first place? How do we know that the excess charge on the balloon is negative instead of positive?


- Spain



It is somewhat difficult to tell whether the static charge on an object. An electrostatic voltmeter can tell how much the charge is, but not really whether it is positive or negative.

The relationships are done experimentally. One reference is at Triboelectric Series.

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Charging a copper plate

Topic: Generating Static Electricity


January 30, 2014

Dear sir,
I would like to know from you 1)How to static electricity charge the copper pot/Vessel/plate using van Graaf machine.2)whether the charge will remain on it after removing it from charging machine &For how much time?

Jayant - India



Simply placing the piece of copper near the globe of the Van de Graaf generator will cause the metal to be charged. However, you have to watch out that a spark does not fly to the copper piece.

It is difficult to tell how long the charge will remain. Left alone, the charges will leak into the air.

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How to use static electricity?

Topic: Uses for Static Electricity


January 12, 2014

how to use of static electricity?




Static electricity is used in pollution control, photocopying, and painting cars, among other applications.

There aren't many practical applications for individuals. People mainly use static electricity as a novelty.

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How can static electricity cause a fire?

Topic: Causes of Static Electricity


December 17, 2013

How can static electricity cause fire outbreak?

what is the relationship between the Harmattan,static electricity, and Fire-outbreak?.

Frank - Nigeria



If a static electric spark occurs near some flammable materials, the spark could cause a fire. One example is a gasoline fire or explosion when filling up an automobile. See Controlling Static Electricity for a picture and explanation.

Also, lightning is caused by static electricity, and that can cause fires.

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Some people prone to effects of static electricity

Topic: Basics of Static Electricity


December 13, 2013

I've heard that some people are more prone to the effects of static elect than others. Also some people can not wear battery powered wrist watches, or some other battery power devices, because they discharge very rapidly. True or false? Maybe explained?

Bert - USA



People who are more prone to the effects of static electricity usually have dry skin, which helps create static charges. Also, studies indicate that having more salt in the blood can make the person more prone to static electricity.

Apparently, there are people who claim to have problems wearing electric watches or similar devices. I haven't seen any good explanation or if it is really true.

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Weather balloon on the ceiling

Topic: Static Sparks


December 9, 2013

Hi Ron,

I have a challenge...I'm trying to figure out a way of proceeding if there was a Hydrogen filled balloon trapped on the ceiling of one of our weather stations and a person would want to retrieve it with a pole to bring it outside of the building. Should the pole be GROUNDED or INSULATED. The danger being that if a static spark was created when the balloon is contacted and there was an explosive mixture present in the ceiling there could be an incident. I'm hoping you would have tie to discuss this via telephone. Sincerely,

Tony - Canada



It sounds like an interesting problem to have.

Although it is unlikely that a Hydrogen balloon trapped on the ceiling would have sufficient charges to cause a spark, it is still worth while to be cautious.

The best type of pole would be wooden with no metal parts. Wood is pretty inert. Sparks jump the best from metal to the balloon material.

If you were on a ladder and trying to grab the balloon with your hand, it would be the best to be grounded to avoid a spark jumping from your fingers.

I assume the weather balloon would have a rope or cord hanging from it that you could pull down. That probably would prevent a spark.

I hope that helps.

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Getting a shock from a faucet

Topic: Static Shocks


December 6, 2013

Can I get a shock if I touch water faucet & water flow touches my finger in a cup as it is flowing in a cup? I did get a shock was it static?




Flowing water can create static electricity and touching the metal faucet can give you a shock. However, you may have built up static charges from your clothes or other things that gave the shock when touching the faucet. The amount of static charges from flowing water is very small.

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Flyaway hair in a vehicle

Topic: Static Cling


June 16, 2013

Actually i had this problem...i mean flyaway problem with me when i was 12-13yrs.. The main problem i had that was when i go outside my home in vehicle..and when my hair comes in contact to the air..they just bend backwards..i mean completely backwards..this is my major plz..can u suggest me..some ideas..some products..some tips or anything like will be a great help..

Ajay - India



If your hair is dry, there is more of a tendency for flyaway hair from static electricity. One idea is to comb your hair with a metal comb instead of a plastic one. That will help draw of excess electrical charges.

If this mainly happens when you get in a vehicle, you may be building up charges by sliding in the car seat. Either your clothes or the seat material can cause a buildup of charges that goes through your body and causes the flyaway hair.

In such a case, try putting a cover on the seat. You can even try a cotton towel to see if that stops the problem.

I hope these ideas help.

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Function of grounding in electrostatics.

Topic: Electrostatic Induction


June 15, 2013

Goodmorning sir and the entire crew of school of champions, my question is, what is d specific function of grounding(earthing) in electrostatic induction , i no you have made a point in d writing but am still not clared , thanks very much

victor - Nigeria



Electrostatics consists of a buildup of electrical charges, usually on the surface of a nonmetal material. The reason for grounding or earthing the object is so that the charges will be drained off and diluted in the larger object.

For example, if you are working on sensitive electronics, you do not want a static spark to ruin the electronics. So you wear a strap that grounds you and draws off the excess charges.

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