We previously discussed how static electricity is generated by rubbing two objects together. When rubbed together, electrons move from one object to another, causing one object to develop a positive charge (the one that lost electrons) and one to develop a negative charge (the one that gained electrons). There is a rule when it comes to charges: “Opposites attract, likes repel.” So a positive and a negative charge will attract each other, but two positive or two negative will repel each other. Try this quick experiment:
What You Need:
What to Do:
Inflate the balloon
Rub the balloon on your (or your volunteer’s) hair
Slowly pull the balloon away. What happens?
When a balloon rubs against hair, electrons from the hair are rubbed onto the balloon. The balloon develops a negative from the extra electrons and the hair develops a positive charge because it lost electrons. As I said earlier, when it comes to charges, opposites attract! So the positively charged hair is attracted to the negatively charged balloon.