K-12 Private Christian School in Northwest Houston, TX

It's Electric!

To demonstrate the fascinating properties of static electricity, physics students used a Van de Graaff generator in class to see firsthand how like charges repel. They learned that through the process of charging by friction, a belt inside the generator carries charge to the aluminum sphere at the top. Any object, including students, that come in contact with the aluminum sphere also become charged. Because the charge spreads across the surface of the items, if able to escape, objects will repel away from the other like-charged objects, such as aluminum pie plates. When students or furry objects are charged it causes each piece of hair to become charged and repel away from all other strands, producing quite a “hair-raising” effect (as demonstrated by Tessa Bodukoglu and Emma Muehlenbrock).