# Static Electricity and Electrostatics

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• Created by: Nnedi
• Created on: 05-04-11 11:31

## Protons, Neutrons and Electrons

• The protons and neutrons make up the nucleus of the atom
• Electrons move about the space round the nucleus
• An uncharged atom has equal numbers of protons and electrons
• A proton has a positive charge and an electron has an eaual negative charge and a neutron is neutral
• Adding electrons to an uncharged atom makes it negative
• Removing electrons from an uncharged atom makes it positive
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## Charges

• Like charges repel and opposite charges attract
• Insulating materials that lose electrons when rubbed become positively charged
• Insulating materials that gain electrons when rubbed become negatively charged
• An electic current is a flow of charge
• An isolated metal object that is initially uncharged will gain charge if it is brought into contact with a charged object
• A metal object is earthed my connecting it to the earth
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## Electrostatics

• Applications of electrostatics include: electrostatic paint sprayer, the electrostatic scrubber to remove smoke and dust particles from the photocopier
• A spark from a charged object can make powder grains or certain gases ignite
• To eliminate static electricity, use conductive materials and earth metal pipes and objects (i.e: connect them to the earth)
• In order to charge plastic you need to rub an insulating material on the plastic (i.e: a duster) and as the plastic rubs against the duster, electrons are scraped off the duster and onto the plastic giving the plastic a negative static charge
• Airplanes become charged as they fly through the air because there are protons and electrons in the air so as the plane flies the plane becomes statically charged as electrons are scratched off the plane
• There is much danger in refuelling an airplane that is charged - because a charge has been built up in the plane, there is a chance of there being a spark if the voltage is big enough
• Using a metal strap when refuelling a plane makes the process safer because when the metal strap is connected to the groud the strap has been earthed - this causes the electrons to flow away from the plane depending on how it's charged and then the plane will no longer be charged and so when refuelling you won't receive a static shock
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