5A40.30 2 × 2 Electrostatic Induction
Electrostatic induction, attraction of opposite charges
A 2" × 2" beam is placed on top of a low-friction watch glass. A PVC pipe is charged by rubbing fur on it (the pipe becomes negatively charged). The pipe is then held alongside one end of the 2 × 2 such that the board slowly rotates and moves toward the rod.
-  2" × 2" beam with watch glass
-  PVC pipe
-  Rabbit's fur
-  Modelling clay (Play-Doh)
- Balance the 2 × 2 beam on top of a watch glass. Add modelling clay on either end of the beam to balance it properly.
- Make sure you hear the build up of charge on the rod. This will be indicated by a crackling noise during charging.
- As with most electrostatic demonstrations, this works best under 50% humidity.
- Rub the fur on the PVC rod.
- Hold the near one end of the board. Observe the board moves slowly toward the rod.
- PIRA 5A40.30
- Don't attempt this at home!
- The cross-section of the beam is actually slightly smaller than 2" × 2". Lumber sizing is weird.
If you have any questions about the demos or notes you would like to add to this page, contact Ricky Chu at ricky_chu AT sfu DOT ca.