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Electricity Experiments - Charged
or Not Charged?
 
Charged or Not Charged - Balloons
Materials you will need:

• Tape
• Scissors
• Two Balloons
• String/Thread
• A Woollen or Nylon Sweater (Jumper)

 

 
Steps :
 

1. Inflate both balloons so they are the same size. Tie a knot in the neck of each balloon so that the air does not escape.

2. Tie one end of the string to one of the balloons.

3. Using tape, secure the free end of the string to the edge of a table.

4. Charge the second balloon by rubbing it with the wool scarf.

5. Hold the charged balloon near, but not touching the hanging balloon.

6. Observe the motion of the hanging balloon.

Sum it up!

Before rubbing, like all materials, the balloons and the wool scarf have a neutral charge.

This is because they each have an equal number of positively charged subatomic particles (protons) and negatively charged subatomic particles (electrons).

When you rub the second balloon with the wool scarf, electrons are transfered from the wool to the rubber because of differences in the attraction of the two materials for electrons.

The balloon becomes negatively charged because it gains electrons from the wool, and the wool becomes negatively charged because it gains electrons from the wool, and the wool becomes positively charged because it loses electrons.

When the negatively charged balloon is brought near the neutrally charged hanging balloon, the electrons on the surface of the hanging balloon move away because like charges repel. This leaves the surface facing the charged balloon more positive.

Since opposite charges attract, the positive charge on the surface of the hanging balloon is attracted to the negative charge on the hand-held balloon. This attraction is strong enough to move the hanging balloon.

 
 
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