Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Sign in | Create Account

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. If you don’t have an account yet, sign up now!

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


Viewed
37479 times

More from MIT Department of Physics Technical Services Group

Spray Paint Oscillator

Spray Paint Oscillator

Added over 5 years ago | 00:00:51 | 26651 views

MIT Physics Demo -- Driven Mechanical Oscillator

MIT Physics Demo -- Driven Mechanic...

Added almost 6 years ago | 00:01:07 | 35350 views

Pulling a Cloth From Under a Beaker

Pulling a Cloth From Under a Beaker

Added 3 years ago | 00:00:50 | 15165 views

Fire Extinguisher on a Tricycle

Fire Extinguisher on a Tricycle

Added over 5 years ago | 00:00:53 | 36026 views

Physics Demo -- Magnetic Motor

Physics Demo -- Magnetic Motor

Added 6 years ago | 00:01:29 | 67368 views

Ring Falling in a Magnetic Field

Ring Falling in a Magnetic Field

Added over 2 years ago | 00:03:27 | 9461 views