Yay Static!

What does 500,000 volts look like?

Imagine if every hair on your head was trying to get away from every other hair on your head. You would look a lot like Lewis in this video. Static is a kind of charge created by tiny parts of atoms called electrons. Electron repel away from each other. When Lewis’ hair got charged, the electrons on each hair repelled away from the electrons on other hair and Lewis ended up looking awesome!

So how can 500,000 volts be safe? Why didn’t Lewis get fried? The static electricity created by this generator (and by your feet rubbing on the carpet) has very little power moving it. In fact, static means “not moving.” It also mean that the static electricity in not strong enough to get into your body. It stays on the outside of your body until you touch the ground, and then it safely travels into the earth. Static electricity can have enough voltage to be dangerous. Lightning is static electricity with 100,000,000 volts!


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