Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sign in

Rubber and Glass Rods with Tinsel and Balloon

A plexiglass rod rubbed with fur picks up a positive electric charge, while a rubber rod rubbed with fur picks up a negative electric charge. When either rod is brought in contact with hanging tinsel, the tinsel becomes charged and flares out. The other rod, however, will now attract the tinsel. Touching the tinsel with your hand discharges it.

These electrostatic forces can also be seen with a conducting balloon. Touching a charged rod to the balloon transfers charge, causing the balloon to be repelled away from the rod.

The ancient Greeks noticed this phenomenon when rubbing pieces of amber (which pick up a negative electric charge, like our rubber rod). The word "electricity" is based on the Greek name for amber: "elektron."

Comments (0)

It looks like no one has posted a comment yet. You can be the first!

You need to log in, in order to post comments.

MIT Department of Physics Technical Services Group

MIT Department of Physics Technical Services Group

Category: Science | Updated almost 7 years ago

Created
January 06, 2009 13:23
Category
Tags
License
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (What is this?)
Additional Files


Viewed
44683 times

More from MIT Department of Physics Technical Services Group

Push Me, Pull You

Push Me, Pull You

Added almost 9 years ago | 00:01:42 | 39070 views

Physics Demo -- Magnetic Motor

Physics Demo -- Magnetic Motor

Added over 9 years ago | 00:01:29 | 79525 views

Strobe of a Falling Ball

Strobe of a Falling Ball

Added almost 9 years ago | 00:00:41 | 49653 views

Speed of a Bullet

Speed of a Bullet

Added almost 9 years ago | 00:00:22 | 48712 views

Ripple Tank: Single and Double Slit Diffraction and Interference

Ripple Tank: Single and Double Slit...

Added 8 years ago | 00:03:05 | 63971 views

Inducing Dipoles with a Van de Graaff Generator

Inducing Dipoles with a Van de Graa...

Added over 8 years ago | 00:02:51 | 53939 views