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Static Electricity Demonstration: Bending Flowing Water

by Ron Kurtus (revised 17 November 2012)

Notice that after charging a comb with static electricity, you can cause a stream of water to bend. This would be a good phenomenon to demonstrate.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



Initial questions

Initial questions include:

Possible factors

What are possible factors in bending water are:

Test procedure

You can bend a stream of water with a comb or other items that is charged with static electricity. The procedure to do this is:

  1. Turn on the faucet so that the water runs slowly but just runs smoothly without breaking up.
  2. Create static electricity on a non-conductor. You can use a plastic comb  to comb your hair, or you can rub a plastic rod with some wool..
  3. Place the charged object near the running stream of water.

The stream of water should bend. Can you explain why?

Other experiments with bending water

Draw conclusions on your experiments.


Go with the flow


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