Static Electricity: A charge of an object caused by the addition or removal of electrons
Hannah: Hey robot, could you please give me n example of static electricity?
Robot: Hey Hannah, yeah sure! I’m sure that at some point in your life you’ve tried rubbing a balloon on your jumper and then tried sticking it onto the wall, or used it to pick up small pieces of paper. Something as simple as this is an example of static electricity. The reason as to why this happens is because; when you rub the balloon it becomes electrically charges and therefore begins to attract other materials. Any type of insulating materiel can be charged in the same way.
Hannah: Oh that sounds interesting, but what’s the real science behind this?
Robot: Well I’m glad you find it! Sure, an object becomes charged when negatively charged electrons get added or removed from it. Every atom possible has a positively charge nucleus which is surrounded by negatively charged electrons on the outer shells. When an insulator is rubbed, the electrons can either be rubbed off it or it can get transferred onto that other materiel. This means that rubbing a balloon onto your jumper transfers electrons of your jumper and onto the balloon. Hence, the balloon becomes negatively charger while on the other hand, your jumper becomes positively charged.
If you bring together two electrically charged objects, there will be a force between then. If the two objects have the same charge, they will repel. However, if the objects have opposite charges they will attract. Since your jumper is positively charged and the balloon is negatively charged, the balloon clings onto your jumper!
Hannah: Is there anything else I should know? Like other types?
Robot: Actually, know that you’ve mentioned it. If you decided to move a negatively charged object towards an object with no charge, the electrons in the uncharged object gets pushed away, leaving a positively charged surface. Resulting in the fact that a charged object will act as a neutral object in this case.
Hannah: That’s pretty cool to be honest.