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Reader Feedback on Static Electricity by Ron Kurtus - Succeed in Understanding Physics. Key words: Physical Science, physics, electricity, materials, human skin, fabrics, static cling, shocks, sparks, insulation, grounding, conductor, nonconductor, electrons, lightning, grounding, electronics, School for Champions Copyright © Restrictions

# Feedback Comments on Static Electricity

by Ron Kurtus

A total of 625 comments and questions have been sent in. They are listed according to date.

## List of next 10 letters

Output voltage between two spheres - Australia

Gets shocks after vacuuming - Botswana

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First 10 letters

## Wants scientific explanation of lightning

Topic: Lighning

### Question

July 5, 2012

Hello,

You seem to know your stuff about lightning. I saw this youtube video and am wondering if there is any scientific explanation. Let's assume that the person recording the lightning did not use any CGI/photoshop effects.

I would be pleasantly surprised to hear from you. Thanks so much.
an open-minded skeptic

Kim - USA

22759

See Static Electricity and Lightning and Lightning Protection System for some explanations.

## Can I use your picture of lightning?

Topic: Static Electricity

### Question

May 31, 2012

I like your picture of the static lightning bolt and was wondering if I may be able to use it?

Michelle - USA

22692

Yes you can use it, but I would appreciate a reference or link to our site.

## How much voltage does static electricity produce?

Topic: Basics of Static Electricity

### Question

April 27, 2012

Sir,
I want know how much voltage do static electricity produce or can I produce 230 volts 220mA,50Hz supply if so please guide me what to use . I ll be glad to get ur reply soon
Thank you .

kabilan - India

22616

The voltage from static electricity can be very high. A simple spark has a voltage of 10,000 volts, while lightning can be 1,000,000 volts. However, the current or amperage is extremely small.

Since lightning is direct, you could not create a 50Hz current, which is AC.

## Dust explosions with whole kernel grains

Topic: Static Electricity

### Question

April 25, 2012

Hi, what can you tell me about static electricity in seeds? Dust explosions are important in grains storage. Do seeds have polarity, like whole kernel corn or soybeans? Can these charges be induced? Is there information on this you can point me to?

- USA

22610

Dust in grain storage can build up static electricity. A static spark or a spark from an electrical switch can ignite some dust, resulting in a chain reaction explosion.

If you care pouring a large quantity of something like corn kernels, they can also build up static electricity. But since the kernels are so large, any spark would not ignite the kernel and would not cause an explosion.

Seeds could have a polarity. See Materials that Cause Static Electricity to get an idea about that subject.

## Send me more experiments for static electricity?

Topic: Static Electricity

### Question

March 9, 2012

could you send me some more of your experiments for static electricity?

zachery - USA

22495

Sorry, but that is all we have available right now.

We'll be adding more experiments in the near future.

## Has anyone ever seen an electron?

Topic: Basics of Static Electricity

### Question

January 4, 2012

has anyone ever seen an electron? There are many things I can say about electricity but I'm not sure how to word them. There cant be static electricity because static means not flowing and electricity is always flowing. People cant make electricity it's like water, you can pump it but you can't make it.
So my question is, am I the only one that knows this?

daniel - USA

22305

Although special microscopes have seen individual atoms, electrons are so small that any light hitting them will cause them to move and not reflect the light pulse. However, there are ways to track the path of electrons.

Static electricity is non-moving electricity. It is the collection on electrical charges on the surface of a nonconductor.

Batteries can creating moving electrons as DC electricity. An AC generator is needed to make AC electricity.

## Output voltage between two spheres

Topic: Static Electricity

### Question

December 28, 2011

hello,
does it make a difference to the output voltage if two or more electrostatically charged conductive spheres in contact are discharge in series or parallel?
thank you,

gene - Australia

22295

Series and parallel relate to resistors or devices in an AC or a DC circuit. If you have two charged spheres, the "output voltage" is the potential difference between the spheres.

## Gets shocks after vacuuming

Topic: Reducing Static Electricity Shocks

### Question

September 8, 2011

I get static charged when I use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum clean my carpet and whenever I touch the door handle I get a painful shock. I have been using the vacuum for a couple of months but this shocking started a few weeks back. What is the cause and how can I stop it?

21962

Such shocks can be annoying and even painful

The brush in the vacuum cleaner is probably creating the static electricity when it brushes against your rug. It probably is due to the materials in each of them. The static electricity changes flow into your body. It causes no harm, but can cause a shock when you touch a metal object.

You can get rid of much of the charges by touching a non-metal object, such as a wooden table, after you are through vacuuming. Another thing you can do is to hold a metal key and touch the doorknob with the keys. A spark will fly, but it will not hurt you. That is a good way to get rid of the excess charges.

## How to light a bulb with static electricity

Topic: Static Electricity

### Question

August 29, 2011

How to light a bulb and enable the static electricity to make some devices to charge if any please do mail to my id i want to know the exact procedure to do the things with static electricity

- India

21929

Using a high power static electricity generator, such as a Van de Graaff generator, you can light fluorescent bulbs at a distance.

See Generating Static Electricity as a source.

Also, go though our lessons and experiments.

## Why doesn't a static spark kill a person?

Topic: Static Electricity

### Question

June 22, 2011

Why does a static spark carrying 6000 volts not kill a person? But wires carrying 220 volts in our home is enough to kill anyone.
Why it is so?

21751

It is the amount of current or number of electrons that causes the damage. 6000 volts indicates the electrons are accelerated at high speeds. However, in a static spark, there are not that many electrons moving or current involved compared to what is going through the wire in your house current.

Another factor is the the static spark may burn your skin, but the 220 V electrical current passes through the body and can cause the heart to stop beating.

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## Summary

Hopefully, this reader feedback has helped provide information about Static Electricity issues.

## Resources and references

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### Websites

Static Electricity Resources

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