What Causes Static Electricity

Static electricity takes place when there is an excess of positive (+) or negative (-) charges on an object's surface. This situation is caused by rubbing specific materials collectively. Static electricity is not caused by friction, as is commonly thought. Rather, it is caused by the triboelectric effect.

What Causes Static Electricity

The atom contains negatively charged electrons, positively charged protons and neutrons. Generally the number of electrons and protons is the identical. This retains an electrically neutral and stable condition.


However, whenever two objects make contact or when friction happens between them, An electron is moved from an atom of one material to an atom of another material. When this happens, electrons transfer from the material using a weaker bond to the material using a stronger bond.

With this movement of electrons, the materials lose their electrical neutrality and static electricity is accumulated. The material that drawn the electron is negatively charged and the material from where the electron was lost is positively charged. This is the system for the Generation of Static Electricity.

Examples of Static Electricity

Walking around a carpeted floor and getting a shock when touching a door knob or some other metal object is an example of static electricity. Clothes stuck to one another following being in the dryer is another example of static electricity.

If someone wearing a wool and he or she removes the hat, his or her hair becomes electrically charged. The wool rubs against the hair once the hat is removed, moving electrons from the person's hair to the hat. This leaves the hair positively charged.

With electricity, opposites attract and stuff that have the identical charge repel. The positively charged hair stands on end and sticks up since it is repelled by the other positively charged hairs on the head. The greater rubbing between two objects, the greater static electricity develop and the bigger the electrical charge.

How to Measure Static Electricity

Measuring the static electricity is essential. It enables you to find out if there is static existing, its size and where it is being produced.

Static charge is measured in charge for each unit area, generally in units of µC/m2

The electric field acts in unique ways and should be understood. One of the most interesting features of the electric field, which is extremely important when attempting to measure the charge.

Electric Field:

is a area of space where electrical (Coulomb) forces behave.

every charged object is encircled by an electric field.

the field line operate perpendicular to the material and show the direction where the force works.

it can be paired with other bodies with crucial consequences for measuring and neutralizing the charge.

Once the charged material moves over a roller, for instance, the electric charge couples with the roller and appears to disappear. It is difficult to make an accurate measurement close to the roller. The electric field returns once the material leaves the roller and thus can be measured again.