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Scientist Rick Crosslin demonstrates static electricity

It’s all about static electricity on Tuesday’s Life.Style.Live! with Rick Crosslin, Scientist in Residence for MSD Wayne Township.

He demonstrated how static electricity is created and discussed the Van de Graaff generator.

  1. Static electricity is the result of an imbalance between negative and positive charges in an object…. like clouds. 
  1. Lightning is an electrostatic discharge. 
  1. Lightning can be from cloud to cloud, cloud to ground, and ground to cloud 
  1. Static electricity is the discharge of electrons from one object to another. 
  1. We can rub our tennis shoes on a carpet and from friction build up negative electrons. 
  1. Moisture or oil in the air can attract electrons and lessen static electricity – why we put dryer sheets in the dryer.  Tumbling clothes build up static – the oil released from the dryer sheet absorbs it and you will not get static charges in the clothes. 
  1. Robert Van de Graaff invented the Van de Graaff Generator – that I will demonstrate. 
  1. It will generate between 50,000 – 150,000 volts!  But very very little current. 
  1. Hair will stand on end – when you put your hand on a Van de Graaff generator – because the charges (negative) build up and repel each other