Interesting Facts About Static Electricity: Charges Remain In One Area

Static electricity is the buildup of an electrical charge on the surface of an object. It’s called “static” because the charges remain in one area rather than moving or “flowing” to another area.
Static electricity means the increase of electric charge on the surface of objects. This electric charge remains on an object until it either flows into the ground, or loses its charge quickly by a discharge.
Charge exchange can happen in conditions like when different objects are rubbed and separated. A static charge will only remain when one of the surfaces has a high resistance to electrical flow. The effects of static electricity are familiar to most people because they can see, feel and even hear the spark.
This spark happens when the excess charge is neutralized. This neutralization occurs when excess charge flows into an electrical conductor (for example a path to ground). Other charge flow occurs when a charged object is near a region with an excess charge of the opposite polarity (positive or negative). The familiar phenomenon of a static ‘shock’ is caused by the neutralization of charge.
We see static electricity every day. It can even build up on us. For example, when we rub our feet on the carpet and then zap something when we touch it. That is static electricity that we have built up on the surface of our skin discharging onto another object.
We also see it when our hair gets charged and sticks straight up or when our pant legs keep sticking to our legs. This is all static electricity that has built up on the surface of an object.
Interesting facts about static electricity you probably didn’t know:
1. Static discharge is excess charge that is neutralized by a flow of charges from or to the surroundings. Positive charges get electrons from the surroundings, and negative charges lose their electrons to the surroundings.
2. In Greek age, Thales found static electricity when he was cleaning his amber. But at that time, they did not pay attention to this and research it. They just knew that rubbing something made a pulling force.
3. The feeling of a static electric shock is caused by the stimulation of nerves as the neutralizing current flows through the human body. Due to the presence of much water in the body, the charge is generally not enough to cause a dangerously high current.
Lightning is also an example of static discharge. A cloud gets a very huge charge by clashing with other clouds. It gives off the excess charge to the ground. But this huge charge never occurs in the human’s surroundings naturally, unless he is struck by the lightning.
Despite the apparently harmless nature of static electricity, there can be significant risks in research, because a large charge can break down the equipment.
4. In 1832, Michael Faraday published the results of his experiment on the identity of electricities. This report proved that the electricity made by using a magnet, voltaic electricity produced by a battery, and static electricity are all the same. Since Faraday’s result, the history of static electricity can be thought as the study of electricity in general.
5. Earnest research into static electricity was started in the 17th century, when Otto von Guericke made the first friction generator. And in the 18th century, Coulomb started research into a fixed quantity of static electricity. Benjamin Franklin associated static electricity with storms.
6. Static Electricity also plays a great role in Xerography which is a dry photocopying technique invented by Chester Carlson in 1938. This resulted in world’s first photocopying machine Xerox 914 released by Haloid in 1960.
7. Static charge also plays a role in aircraft refueling. During the process of refueling the movement of the fuel can cause in charge development which can cause explosion and thus the fueling pipe is connected with the ground so that any charge that is accumulated is immediately transferred to the ground.

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