Static Electricity

Objectives:

1.    Define and explain static electricity.

2.    Distinguish between conductance and induction.

3.    Describe how an insulator can be charged by contact.

4.    Describe how a conductor can be charged without contact.

Key Terms:

Resources:

Notes:

We've all had the experience of walking across the carpet on a windy day and receiving a shock when we touch a metallic object.  This discharge of electricity is due to the static buildup of charge, otherwise called static electricity.

Static Electricity:

• Static – not moving.

• Electricity – The energy associated with the movement of electrons from one place to another.

As discussed earlier electrons are free to move within and between different substances.  The direction of transfer is due to whether the material holds its electrons tightly or not.  Static electricity is the buildup of electric charges on an object.  This buildup of electrons after transferring electrons occurs as oppositely charged items are brought close to each other.

Lightning is an example of static discharge of built up static electricity.

(wvlightning.com/sparks.html)

Methods of Charging:

3 ways of charging materials

1)                  Friction – The rubbing together of surfaces transfers electrons from one object to another.

2)                  Conduction – Electrons flow freely through one object to another.

• Involves direct contact of objects

• Conductors allow charges to move easily.  A conductor is any material that allows electrons to move freely in a material. An example of a good conductor would be wire.

• Insulators do not allow electrons to flow freely.  Examples would be glass and plastic.

3)                 Induction – Involves the rearrangement of electric charges within an object.

·        Does not need to touch but must be close

What is lightning?

Electrical discharge of static electricity.