So we all know the unpleasant realities of having clothes stick to each other fresh out of the laundry. But we also know the pains of having our hair stand up when we try to comb it or while in the car or when taking off a wool cap. But why does it have to happen? It all comes down to static electricity, try this experiment:
What You Need:
A place to hang balloons
What To Do:
Inflate the balloons
Hang the balloons from somewhere, ideally not near a wall, and low enough that you can reach someone’s head with the balloons.
Rub the balloons against someone’s head. Do it for at least 30 seconds.
Have them step away, then let go of the balloons. What happens?
Other than a bad hair day for whomever was having balloons rubbed against their hair, the balloon were building up a charge. Electrons were transferred from the hair to the balloons, so they developed a negative charge. The two negatively charged balloons will avoid touching each other.
You may notice, though, that they ARE attracted to you. That’s because they can discharge their excess electrons onto you. It can become a fun game to see how close you can get without the balloons jumping up to touch you. Have fun!