5A10.10 Electrostatic Charges (Projectoscope)


Separation of electric charge by friction between two neutral materials


Charging the Project-o-scope deflects its needle. It can interact with a positively charged glass rod (glass rubbed with cellophane) or a negatively charged PVC rod (PVC rubbed with rabbit fur). Ions from a lit match near the Project-o-scope plate neutralize the charge.



  • [1] Project-o-scope
  • [1] Cellophane
  • [1] Glass rod
  • [1] Rabbit fur
  • [1] PVC rod
  • [1] Box of matches
  • [1] Lighter

Important Notes

  • As with most electrostatic demonstrations, this works best on cool, dry days


  1. Rub the fur on the PVC rod.
  2. Touch the Project-o-scope plate with the rod.
  3. Light a match or ignite the lighter near the plate of the Project-o-scope to discharge it.
  4. Repeat step 1 to 3 using a cellophane sheet and a glass rod.


Additional Resources


  • PIRA 5A10.10


  • Don't attempt this at home!

Last revised

  • 2020


Related AV

Related demos


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.