Static Electricity By Abi Farmer

Everything is made up of atoms. Inside an atom are protons, electrons and neutrons. The protons are positively charged, the electrons are negatively charged, and the neutrons are neutral. Thus, all things are made up of charges. Opposite charges attract each other (negative to positive). Like charges repel each other (positive to positive or negative to negative). Most of the time positive and negative charges are balanced in an object, which makes that object neutral. All of this can be seen on a typical magnet.

However static electricity is the result of an imbalance between negative and positive charges in an object. These charges can build up on the surface of an object until they find a way to be released. The rubbing of certain materials against one another can transfer negative charges, or electrons.

As the picture above shows, every object has charges in its atoms. With this, the balloon is being charged by the towel, and as the electricity is transferred to the balloon the opposites attract and the balloon is "stuck" to the wall.

To demonstrate this I experimented with 3 balloons

From there I ran a trial of rubbing the balloons in one direction from left to right 1- 10 times. I then time how long the balloon takes to hit the ground, and record it in the table.

There were a couple instances where the balloon skidded down, and some where it didn't exactly fall.
But after each run I made sure to release the excess static so my next run would be as accurate as possible.

After running the trial, the evidence shown clearly shows an example of static electricity. But there was a few errors (see data) where the balloon didn't fall, and where it didn't stay up at all. And It was probably human error.

This experiment was easy, educational, and entertaining to do in your own home, If you're ever wondering how many rubs it takes to get a balloon to stick to a wall, find out!


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