Static Electricity (page 3)

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Author: Janice VanCleave

Get the Facts

  1. Static electricity has many uses, for example, electrostatic copying machines make duplicates of printed material by attracting negatively charged particles of powdered ink to positively charged paper. But static electricity also causes problems, such as sparks produced in a grain bin that can cause explosions. Find out more about the positive uses and negative problems of static electricity. For information see Mary and Geoff Jones's Physics (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), pp. 63–68.
  2. In 1785, French physicist Charles Coulomb (1736–1806) used a type of balance to measure the force between two charged spheres. Use a physics text to find out more about Coulomb's experiment and the equation he used to describe the relationships among electric forces, charge, and distance. This equation is called Coulomb's law. Another source of information is Karl F. Kuhn's Basic Physics: A Self-Teaching Guide. (New York: Wiley, 1996), p. 139.
  3. The triboelectric series ranks materials according to the amount of energy needed to remove their electrons. This listing provides information about predicting the charges of two materials that are rubbed together. For information about the triboelectric series see Kuhn's Basic Physics, p. 143.
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