Hooked on science: Bend water

Friday, May 22, 2009

Static electricity can bend water.

Materials

* Water faucet

* Plastic comb

Instructions

Step 1: Turn the cold water on and allow the water to run in a slow, steady and thin stream.

Step 2: Run the plastic comb through your hair several times.

Step 3: Bring the teeth of the comb close to the stream of water.

Explanation

The stream of water bends toward the comb because of static electricity. The comb became negatively charged when you ran the comb through your hair. The water contains both negative and positive charges. When you moved the teeth of the comb close to the stream of water, the negative charges in the comb attracted the positive charges in the water, causing the stream of water to move toward the comb.

Jason Lindsey is a Science Outreach Educator with Hooked on Science. Check out his website "Hooked On Science" at hookedonscience.org for webcasts and experiments that might get you hooked on science. Send him your science questions at jlindsey@hookedonscience.org. More science experiments can be found at www.semissourian.com.

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