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When Likes Repel

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posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 01:58 PM
My son had to do a science experiment today, demonstrating how like charges repel.

He built this "Electroscope" which is nothing more than a jar, a straw, a piece of copper wire and two pieces of tin foil dangling on the end of it close together.

After it's made, you need something like a comb that you've just been running through your hair, or a balloon that you can rub against your hair. The friction from doing these things builds up a static charge on the comb or balloon.

When you then put the balloon or comb near the end of the copper wire, the charge goes down to the foil pieces, and because they are like charges, they'll repel, as you see in this video.

He got a big kick out of doing it.

You should have seen his homemade barometer he had to make at the beginning of school, heh.

posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 02:15 PM
a reply to: eriktheawful

Be interesting as an extension of that experiment take a small length string and connect it to end of wire and have the tin foils connected to end of string, which will confirm whether or not the conduction separation effect is limited or not by the property of the copper conductor.

posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 02:35 PM
Give your son a high five. I hope you praised him well? The lesson that should be learned is that science should not be taken seriously all the time. Science can be fun and interesting, that is the way to engage children and some adults that are frightened of all the scientific jargon and bluster that generally comes out of scientists mouths. At this time of year there are usually a few televised Christmas lectures on the BBC from the Royal Institute. Some are on you tube. These lectures bring science down so that the ordinary man in the street can understand it. If you have chance get to see Eric Braithwaites lectures on gyroscopes. Give your son a well done from me.

posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 07:34 PM
a reply to: AthlonSavage

Had him give it a try.

He used cotton string. The result was nothing happening (except the string trying to stick to his balloon, hehehe).

I've got some plastic string used for a weed eater he's going to try using tomorrow and see what happens.

posted on Dec, 19 2014 @ 07:48 PM
Using the normal form of set up, if you can find a small toy compass test how the compass needle reacts when placed adjacent near each out stretched piece of foil. Interesting to see if the compass registers a north and south pole.

Might be also interesting to try a modified set up of copperwire, string, copper wire with foils on end sequence to see if the separation of charge still occurs in the final sequence of copper wire.
edit on 19-12-2014 by AthlonSavage because: (no reason given)

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