The Understanding of Static Electricity and How It Works to Its Benefits!

Understanding Static Electricity – Power generation or electrical energy is one of the main forms of energy needed by electrical equipment or energy stored in current in amperes (A) and voltage in volts (V), as long as the need consumes electrical energy in watts (W) to move a motor, light a lamp, flow energy to a water heater, cool the ac, or reactivate a mechanical device to produce another form of energy.

Electrical energy powers household appliances, office equipment, industrial machines, trains, street lights, fireplaces, cooking utensils, and more. The energy produced can come from various sources, such as water, petroleum, coal, wind, geothermal, nuclear, solar and others. The basic unit of electrical energy is Joule, while the other is KWh (Kilowatt Hours). Electricity for industry and households is produced from power plants, such as PLTA, PLTN, PLTD (solar), PLTM, PLTS (solar energy), PLTU and others.

Electrical energy is an important necessity in everyday life. Various necessities of life require electricity to continue operating. Some household chores such as ironing, washing, and storing food all require electricity.

For other businesses, such as desks, laptops, computers and printers are often used, which of course are highly dependent on the power produced from electricity. The electricity used comes from the generating station. The electrical energy produced is then transported to homes, schools, factories and offices using conductive cables.

In the science of physics about energy that comes from electricity, it is known that there are two types of electricity, namely static electricity and dynamic electricity, both of which must have significant differences even though they come from the same energy source. Well, this time we will focus more on discussing static electricity. Further discussion on what is the meaning of static electricity? we will review the definition, working method, and its use in life in the discussion below.

Understanding Static Electricity

Static electricity is electricity with a charge in a stationary or static state, unlike electro mobility where the charge is always moving. In a sense, static electricity is an imbalance of electric charge inside or on the surface of things. During this time, the load remains until it disappears when released.

Electricity comes from the Greek word, specifically electron which means (Amber). The word amber itself comes from a petrified resin tree. The nature of this stone to attract small objects after being rubbed, this was later developed by a Greek scientist named Thales of Miletus with experiments that led to the discovery of electric charge

In general, the understanding of static electricity is a group of electric charges in a fixed unit, the amount or balance of electric charges in one unit. Just like when you rub a plastic ruler on your hair, it will have a negative charge, and the hair will have a positive charge.

The release when these two materials are rubbed causes both to be positively charged and negatively charged. Charge is a physical quantity related to electricity and other effects related to matter. Charges that can be neutralized by means of friction show that these charges do not negate each other.

The amount of charge will depend on the lack or excess of the number of electrons, the more an object the greater the charge. According to electron theory, electrons that move from one atom to another are called free electrons, and things that can transfer electrons freely are called conductors.

A static charge is generated whenever two surfaces are joined and separated, and at least one of the surfaces has a high resistance to current (and is therefore an insulator). Static electricity effects are already familiar to most people because people can feel, hear, and even see sparks when the excess charge is neutralized when brought close to a large conductor of electricity (eg: Earth).

The coulomb is a unit of measurement for the magnitude of electric charge. There is negative and positive charge. An excess of electrons in an object makes the object negatively charged, and if the object is positively charged, then the object lacks electrons. If the amount of positive and negative charge on an object is the same, then the object has a neutral charge. 1 electron = -1,6 x 10-19 coulomb 1 proton = -1,6 x 10-19 coulomb.

History of Static Electricity

During the cultural era around the Mediterranean Sea, it was discovered that some objects, such as amber sticks, if rubbed with cat fur, could attract light objects such as fur. around 600 BC. a scientist named Thales conducted an experiment on static electricity, where he found that amber is magnetic unlike minerals, so it does not need to be rubbed. At that time, Thales had not really observed the magnetic effect of gravity, until scientific developments proved the relationship between magnetism and electricity.

The history of the discovery of electricity begins with the research of a Greek philosopher named Thales from Miletus around 600 BC. At that time, Thales discovered a natural stone that was able to attract objects made of iron (now called magnets). He continued experimenting with other stones until he found a point at the conclusion that if amber is rubbed with wool, it can attract fragments of light.

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This happens because amber (in Greek for electron) carries an electrical charge, or static electricity as it is commonly used today. In short, Thales can be called the father of the inventor of static electricity. For the following centuries, electricity remained an interesting topic.

It was only in 1600 that the English scientist William Gilbert discovered that amber is not the only object capable of attracting light. Gilbert also mentioned this event with a new Latin term, electrius, which was later absorbed into English by electric and electricity.

Later, scientists such as Otto von Guericke, Robert Boyle, Stephen Gray and CF du Fay also conducted research related to electricity. A new breakthrough finally came in the 18th century, when Benjamin Franklin did extensive research on electricity.

An American scientist experimented by attaching a metal key to a kite string during a thunderstorm and discovered that electricity was equivalent to lightning. After this historic discovery, people were eager to try harnessing the power of electricity in a very simple way to light their homes.

How Static Electricity Works

Understanding Static electricity is the result of the accumulation of electricity that occurs when two non-metallic objects rub against each other. This electrification usually occurs when charged particles move from one place to another. For example, when combing, the hair will not feel like it is lifted towards the comb.

There are three ways of working to give an energy charge to static electricity, namely, friction, conduction, and induction.

1. Friction

Which of the following objects becomes electrified by rubbing with other objects? For example, some things can be statically charged, such as silk and glass. Glass is positively charged while silk is negatively charged. This process occurs when electrons from the glass are transferred to the silk fabric.

2. Conduction

The way to make things conduct electricity is by conduction. The definition of conduction is the transfer of electrically charged objects to non-charged objects. In this way, things that previously had no electrical charge will gain charge.

3. Induction

Induction is a way of giving an electric charge to things. In a sense, induction separates the charges in the conductor. The trick is to bring a charged object closer to another object that is in a neutral state. This conductive event is often found when we study the charge of an object using an electroscope.

Static Electricity Formula

There are several formulas that are commonly used to solve problems involving static electricity. We will describe the formula below:

1. Coulomb force

Coulomb force is the magnitude of the electric force that occurs between two electrically charged objects. Different amounts of electric current will attract and the same amount of electric current will repel. Therefore, the magnitude of the pulling or repelling force can be made according to the equation: F = k q1.q2 / r2 Description: F = total force (N) k = coefficient (9 x 109 Nm2 / C2) j = distance between loads (m) q1 and q2 = charge of each particle (C)

2. Electric field

An electric field is an area around a charged particle that is subjected to an electric force (Coulomb force). The direction of the electric field is such that the positive charge moves away from the source charge. When the negative charge moves inward. The charger that produces electricity is called the source load. At the same time, another load placed under the influence of the electric field from the source load is called a test load. Here is the formula: E=k Q/r2 or E=F/q Description: E = electric field strength (N/C) F = coulomb force (N) r = distance from the test charge to the charge source (m) Q = source charge (C) q = test load (C)

3. Potential

Potential energy is the work per unit charge required to move the charge from one point to another. The formula is: V = k Q / r Description: V = potential (volts) Q = source charge (C) k = coefficient (9 x 109 Nm2 / C2) r = distance to the charge source (m) )

4. Potential Electricity

The energy or effort required to move an electrical charge from one point to another. The following formula is: Ep = k q1.q2 / r Description: Ep = potential energy of the test load k = coefficient (9 x 109 Nm2 / C2) r = distance to the source of the load (m) q1 and q2 = electricity product of each particle (c ).

5. Capacitor

A capacitor is one of the electrical devices used to store energy in a short time so that it can be released quickly. The formula is: C = ???? oA / d Description: C = capacitance of the capacitor (Farad or f) q = charge between two parts (C) V = potential difference between two parts (voltA = cross-section of the room (m2)? ??? = allowed dielectric of the material

Example of Static Electricity

There are several examples of electricity that we can find in everyday life, apart from the friction of a plastic ruler on the head. Whether done consciously or unconsciously, examples of static electricity are as follows.

Common examples of static electricity in everyday life are:

1. Lightning

So what is the relationship between static electricity and lightning? Therefore, lightning can occur due to the transfer of electrons. When the sky is in a state of excess electrons, lightning also appears towards areas with fewer electrons. In order for the excess electrons to be immediately transferred, the lightning finally finds the object closest to the cloud. This is why lightning often strikes large objects. It can be said that lightning is an example of static electricity hazards.

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2. When combing hair

The hair unconsciously stands up according to the movement of the comb, which can occur due to the strength of the interaction between the comb and the hair.

3. A silk cloth is rubbed on a glass rod

This will cause the two objects to attract each other, this is due to the jump of electrons from the glass rod to the silk cloth.

4. A plastic ruler is rubbed on the woolen cloth

Both objects are neutrally charged but when rubbed together electrons jump from the cloth to the ruler.

5. Bring your hand to the TV screen that has just been turned off

Note that hairs will appear on your arms or hands, this is due to the presence of static electricity.

6. In the nervous system

It turns out that electricity also flows in the human body. Evidence of this can be seen from the arrangement of the central nervous system that regulates all activities that occur in the human body. The central nervous system is the body’s coordination system consisting of millions of nerve cells or neurons.

A neuron is the smallest structure in the nervous system, which functions to transmit electrical charges in the form of ions from dendrites to axons. Thus, it can be concluded that there is electricity in the human body.

7. Electricity in Animals

Electrical properties can also be found in certain animals. Where, there are animals that are able to produce electricity and there are also animals that are able to take advantage of the electric current that surrounds them. Examples of animals with electrical properties include electric eels, electric rays, and hammerhead sharks.

8. Use of Electricity in the Environment

In our daily life we ​​cannot separate the use of static electricity. This can be seen from several applications that can be applied in human life such as lightning rods, electrostatic precipitators for car paint, photocopiers, laser printers and many others.

Utilization of Static Electricity in Life

1. Paint the car

When the paint is sprayed, the fine paint particles become charged as they rub against the air. The painted vehicle receives a charge opposite to the paint particles, so the paint droplets will be attracted to the vehicle.

This method is useful if the vehicle has an uneven surface. Because the paint particles will stick and follow the existing electric field.

As a result, paint drops will cover all parts of the vehicle that may be hidden from the spray layer. Thus, this method will make the paint layer evenly and reach hidden places.

2. Photocopier

The photocopier was first designed by an American physicist named Chester F. Carlston. This machine uses the induction load principle as well as the Coulomb force.

The main part of the photocopier is the photoconductor plate. This panel does not transmit electricity when in a dark room. The new sheet will conduct electricity when exposed to light.

Initially, the photoconductor plate is induced by moving a negatively charged conductor along its surface. Therefore, a plate is formed with an induced positive charge.

If the paper to be copied is illuminated, the reflected light will hit the photoconductive plate which already contains an induction charge. As a result, the electric charge formed exactly as it is on the paper is reproduced.

Negatively charged ink is sprayed onto the plate. The ink is then transferred to another type of paper to make a photocopy. This layer of paper will be heated so that the ink adheres strongly. Static electricity affects some electronic devices.

3. Inkjet printers

This printer works by spraying fine ink particles onto the surface of the paper. With several injection points, the material to be printed will show its shape.

However, to do so, the printer must control the position of the falling ink jet by applying an electrostatic force. Small droplets of ink are charged as they are sprayed through small channels in the print head.

Then the particle will pass through two metal plates. If both plates receive an electric potential, the ink drop will become charged.

By adjusting the load on the plate, the printer controls the direction in which the filled ink drops fall. If the ink particles are positively charged, they will be attracted to the negatively charged plate and repelled by the positively charged plate. Thus, the ink drops will be directed upwards.

4. Smoke collector

Smoke collectors are useful for reducing air pollution from factory chimneys. The use of this device is achieved by installing two metal with large opposite markings on the installed factory chimney.

Smoke particles flowing through the chimney will be induced to have an induced charge. The resulting charge is positive and negative.

These smoke particles will attract each other to form larger and heavier particles. The increased weight will prevent particles from flying with the smoke. Particles will fall to the bottom of the chimney.

In addition to fusing together, charged smoke particles are also attracted to active metals in the chimney.

These particles then aggregate on the metal and form larger clumps. Therefore, the mass is easy to clean and can reduce air pollution.


A short discussion about the meaning of static electricity Not just the definition, but how the early history of the discovery of static electricity was found, the formula of static electricity, how static electricity works, examples of static electricity and its use in everyday life.