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  Static Electricity

Static electricity is the situation where electrical charges build up on the surface of a material. It is called "static" because there is no current flowing as in AC or DC electricity. Static electricity is usually caused when materials are rubbed together. The result is that objects may be attracted to each other or may even cause a spark to jump from one object to the other. Common examples of static electricity in action are static cling, flyaway hair and the sparks that can occur when you touch something.

Comb your hair on a dry day or after using a hair drier. The plastic comb collects negative charges from the hair, causing the hair to have an excess of positive charges. Since like charges repel, the hair strand will tend to push away from each other, causing the "flyaway hair" effect.

The reason the electrons can't leave their present material is because of strong molecular forces that keep them where they are. If there are enough positive (+) charges attracting them, and the distance is not too great, some of the electrons will break loose and fly across the gap to the (+) side.

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