Show Me The Physics
YouTube Channel



Static Electricity


Unit III Electricity & Magnetism


Static Electricity Intro

Fill In the Blanks Notes

I.  Static Electricity - electronic charges flowing in no particular direction. (trapped in a body)


A) Electricity of the Atom

Atoms are
 ordinarily neutral


#p = #e-


n has no charge


p has +1 charge


e- has -1 charge



Charge electron

-1.6 x 10-19 Coulombs






Did you know ....


Benjamin Franklin 

National Portrait Gallery, London: NPG 327
Author - Joseph Siffred Duplessis (died 1802)

  • coined the terms positive and negative for electrical charge

  • proved lightning was static electricity

  • invented lightning rod

  • built a static electricity generator 




1. Atoms become charged by gaining or losing ...






3 Big Rules of Electrostatics

Opposites Attract

Likes Repel

Only Electrons Move

(Protons move, but don't leave nucleus)



Charge plates can deflect an electron





Mg+2   F -1

Mg atom
Lost 2 electrons


F  atom
gained 1 electron

20 p , 18 e-
What's the charge?



+ 2





Why are protons never lost or gained?


Protons are held in the nucleus by the strongest forces in the universe




a) Ion: electrically charged particle:



Charge is unbalanced




 negative charge




#e > #p






positive charge



#p > #e





2. Charged objects lose their charge when grounded. (become neutral)

[ Flash ]


"What is the

bottom prong of

 a plug called?"


"The bottom prong of
a plug called the ground.
It discharges any excess
charge that may develop
in an electrical device"


When grounded:



Negatively charged objects ...



... lose electrons

and become neutral.





Positively charged object ...



... gain electrons

and to become neutral.






ŠTony Mangiacapre., - All Rights Reserved [Home]
Established 1995
Use any material on this site (w/ attribution)