Breakown: Static Electricity-why we get shocked

Breakown: Static Electricity-why we get shocked
Moving an aluminum can with static electricity (Source: WMBF)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) -Static electricity can be very annoying especially when you get shocked but what is it exactly and how can we stop it? It is caused by two objects that rub together and one supplies elctrons to the other. The supply of electrons is more in one than the other. One object gives up electrons and becomes more positively charged while the other material collects electrons and becomes more negatively charged.

Charges that are alike repel and tend to travel as far away as possible to get away from each other. When you go to touch something, this provides a path to the ground for the charge that has built up in your body. In other words, static electricity is caused by two objects that rubbing against the other and in turn supplies electrons to the other. Static electricity occurs when the electrons, both positive and negative are out of balance.

Some objects are more susceptible to picking up electric charges. Objects like wool, glass, our skin and hair are more likely to pick up charges and have static electricity. When you rub your feet across a carpet especially if you have on socks, this is a way your body can pick electrons. Those electrons get released as we touch other people or a door knob.

If you are getting shocked constantly there are ways you can minimize it.

  • Anti- Static spray can help- you spray it on the carpet
  • You can increase the humidity levels
  • Some scientist reccomend wearing more cotton vs wool
  • Use fabric sheets on your clothes to help balance electrons
  • Continuously touch metal objects to reduce built up charge

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