How Do Weather Conditions Affect the Formation of a Static Charge?

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Name: Tessa Blackwell

Title: How do weather conditions affect the formation of a static charge?

Date: 2/1/2013

Statement of Problem: Do certain weather conditions increase or decrease static charge?
What can be done to reduce or eliminate the static charge?

Hypothesis: In reading up on this topic I learned that cold dry weather seems to increase static charge. It is a known fact that if humidity is above 30% it will reduce the static charge. Therefore, by adding water to the environment static charge is reduced or eliminated.

*inflated balloon*hair
*hair dryer*water
*spray bottle

1.) Dry your hair with a hair dryer to be sure it is good and dry. 2.) Step out into the cold weather to get hair cold.
3.) Rub the balloon on your hair to create a static charge. 4.) This causes your hair to stand out on end.
5.) In order to decrease the static charge put some water drops on the balloon. 6.) Again rub it on your hair.
7.) The strands of hair that got wet no longer had static charge. 8.) Now spray your entire head of hair with water.
9.) Then rub the balloon on your hair.
10.) You will no longer have static charge in your hair.

Results (Data):
1. The charging of the balloon is local; the charge doesn't spread all over the balloon if it is just rubbed in one place. The balloon is an insulator. 2. The balloon will stick to all types of walls as well. The reason for this is that the neutral object is polarizing. When the charged object gets near the uncharged one, it attracts all of the opposite charges closer to the charged object.

When two materials are rubbed together (like a balloon and your hair), one will lose electrons and one will accumulate them. Producing Static Electricity

Sometimes the outer layer of the object has negatively-charged electrons and the atoms are rubbed off, producing atoms that have a positive charge. The balloon that did...
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