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### Course: Physics library>Unit 18

Lesson 8: Electrostatics

# Discovery of triboelectric effect

Our ancestors noticed that when amber was rubbed against fur it attracted small objects...why is this? Created by Brit Cruise.

## Want to join the conversation?

• How is amber able to hold an electric charge to produce static?
• The process of inducing an electric charge by rubbing/creating friction has a big fancy name: Triboelectric charging. Amber, being a relatively neutral thing in most cases (neither very positively nor negatively charged) can easily pick up excess electrons, in this case from the cat's fur, and create a negative charge on itself, which gives us static!

Remember, the charges WANT to be the amber because of its neutrality. They see it as an easy path with low resistance.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triboelectric_effect
• Where does the word " tribo electric" come from besides the word electric ?
• Tribo comes from the greek word trī́bein, which means to rub. Since static electricity is generated when two different materials are rubbed together it seems fitting.
• does this work with only amber?
• Nope, glass and rubber (balloons) also work well
• Did Brit just find the amber on the banks of the pond? because I want one.
• He probably just put it there cause his amber is pretty polished-looking.
• I don't get how amber can pick up cat hairs. I thought static could only pick up iron or steel
(1 vote)
• no static can pick any thing wich have opposite or no charge even you can try this thing with your own hairs, first take a balloon and fill it up with air then rub it with a cotton cloth then put that balloon above your head then you will see that your hairs would be like attracting with balloon
the same principle is used here!! hope ull get it :)
• What other stones have the triboelectric effect or is it just amber?
• actually the triboelectric effect if the rubbed between the two materials, for example when you rub a balloon full of air in your hair you're electrifying the triboelectric effect
(1 vote)
• How should I do this without a cat?
• How does static electricity attract certain objects? Does it have a magnetic field associated with it?
• to answer you I will advise you to research on static and current electricity for example lightning is caused by positive electrons and negative electrons rubbing together so I do not think that it has a connection
(1 vote)
• Why does the amber attract the hair? If it is because of opposite charges on the hair and the amber, does the hair contain the positive charges or negative charges? Does the amber contain the positive charges or the negative charges?