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Physics Questions Blog
Thursday, 3 January 2008
Honors Electrostatics Blog

Honors Electrostatics Blog

Please answer the questions below.  Additionally, if you want to use this space to discuss the demo, please feel free.


1.  If you charge a pocket comb by rubbing it with a silk scarf, how can you determine if the comb is positively or negatively charged?


2.  Why does a shirt or blouse taken from a clothes dryer sometimes stick to your body?

Posted by georgecelona at 3:14 PM EST
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Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 7:26 PM EST

Name: "Derek Krajek"

1.  You can determine the type of charge the rubbed pocket comb has by putting it near an object of known charge.  If the two objects attract eachother, you know that the pocket comb has the opposite charge of the known object.  If they repel from eachother, it has the same charge as the known object.

2.  A shirt taken from a clothes dryer can stick to your body because of the friction it receives when dried.  By constantly spinning the article of clothing, friction was enacted and the shirt obtained a net charge.  It sticks to your body by polarizing you, which is when the electrons go to one side of the body (if shirt is positive, electrons move near shirt, and if shirt is negative, electrons move away from shirt).

Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 7:39 PM EST

Name: "Val Broussard"

1. To determine the charge of the comb you have to pass it over an object of known charge. Lets say that object is of negative charge, if it repels that object than the comb is of negative charge. If it attracts it the comb is of positive charge.  

2. The reason a shirt might stick to you when it comes out of the dyer is because it is charged from friction in the dryer. After picking up a charge it might stick to your neutral body by polarizing your equal charges.  

Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 7:40 PM EST

Name: "Steph Capoferri"

1. You can determine the charge of the comb by holding it next to an object which you know the charge of. For example, if you hold it next to a negatively charged rod and the two objects attract, you know the comb is positive, if you hold it up to the rod and it repels, you know it is negative.

2. Shirts sometimes stick to you when they come out of the dryer due to the friction that causes a charge when the clothes are being spun around in the dryer and being rubbed up against other clothes. When you go to put the clothes on, they polarize your body and stick to you, much like the paper and the rod.

Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 7:57 PM EST

Name: "Rebekah Williams"

1. You could tell the charge of the comb by passing it over an object you know the charge of. if they repell the two object have the same charge and if they attract they have opposite charges.

2. The clothing item sticks because it has obtained some type of charge due to friction. Once on a body which is neutral polarization occurs.

Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 7:58 PM EST

Name: "Gina Ranalli"

1. To determine if the pocket comb has a positive or negative charge you could find some source of aluminum foil. If you place the comb near the aluminum foil one of two things will happen. The aluminum foil will either be attracted to the comb or the aluminum foil will avoid the combs touch by repelling. If it’s attracted there is a positive charge, if it repels than there is a negative charge.

 2. The reason why a shirt or blouse taken from a clothes dryer sometimes stick to your body is because the clothes go through an enormous amount of friction from being spun around the dryer so many times. When the process stops and the clothes come near your neutrally charged clothes you are currently wearing polarization occurs, which leads to the clothes sticking to you.


Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 8:08 PM EST

Name: "Nicole McClain"

1. To determine the charge of the comb, one must place the comb near an object of known charge, whether it be positive or negative, and if the known object is attracted the the comb, the comb is the opposite charge of the known object, and if it repels the known objects, its charge is the same sign as the known object.

2. An article of clothing sometimes likes to stick to one's body because the article aquires a charge because of the friction it builds while being spun in a dryer. One's body becomes polarized and the charge that matches the article's charge flee from the article while its opposite rushes towards the piece of clothing. The opposite charges attract and the clothing sticks to one's body as a result.

Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 8:14 PM EST

Name: "Ryan Carson"

1. To determine the charge of the of comb, place it next to an object with a known charge. If they attract, then the comb is charged opposite the known charge, and if they repel it is the same charge. 


2. The clothing picks up a charge from friction in the dryer, whereas a person's body is neutral. When the clothing comes close to a person's body, polorization occurs within the person and the clothing sticks.

Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 8:29 PM EST

Name: "Rob Vucelich"

1. Todetermine the combs charge u would need another item that u know the charge of. If the two items attract then the comb has a charge opposite that of the other item if they repel the charge is the same.

2. When the clothes are dried theres alot of friction giving it a charge. The charge causes polarization of your neutraly charged body and is attracted to it.

Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 8:43 PM EST

Name: "Allison Davis "

You can determine if the comb is positively or negatively charged by putting it next to something of known charge and seeing if it attracts or repels. If they repel each other, the comb has the same charge as the object, and if they attract, the comb has the opposite charge of the object.

A shirt taken from the dryer sometimes sticks to your body because the shirt is charged due to friction from rubbing against other clothes in the dryer. When you put the shirt on, it polarizes your body so the charge opposite the charge of the shirt come to the surface of your body and attract the shirt.

Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 8:49 PM EST

Name: "Allison Davis "

p.s. those verbs should be comes and bad

Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 8:51 PM EST

Name: "Joe Noce"

1.  To determine the charge of the comb you could bring it in contact with another item to see if there is an attracting force or repeling force. You will need to know the charge of the other object however, that way if the items repel eachother you will know they have the same charge and thus know what the comb is. Then if they are attracted you know they are oppoisite.

2.  While in the dryer clothes are constantly rubbing up against each other which causes a charge to build on the items. Also since it is a dryer it is extremely dry and the charge builds up easier.

Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 8:58 PM EST

Name: "Ryan Mewha"

1.) to find out what charge the comb has, find an object that is positively charged and put it up to the comb, if it attracts it is negative if it repels it is positive.

2.) the reason why the shirt will stick to you is because it was givin a charge due to friction while in the dryer, this charge polarizes you, and the shirt attracts to your skin. 

Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 9:34 PM EST

Name: "Greg Lieb"

1. To find the charge of a pocket comb, you would have to bring the comb close to an object who's charge you know. If the object of known charge has a negative charge, and it repels the comb, then the comb would have the same negative charge as the object. If the comb is attracted to the object, the comb would have the opposite charge of the object or a positive charge.

2. A shirt straight out of the drier tends to stick to your body because the shirt builds up a static charge in the drier. It gets this charge through friction when it rubs against other clothes or the drier itself. When you put the shirt on, the shirt attracts the electrons of opposite charge than the shirt. These electrons pull towards each other, causing the shirt to stick to your body.

Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 9:48 PM EST

Name: "Greg Lieb"

Demo blog:

1. Friction was created between the rabbit fur and the pipe when you rubbed them together. This gave both objects a static charge.

2. Induction made the ball attracted to the pipe. There was no contact between the ball and pipe so there wasnt any friction or conduction. As the pipe was brought close to the ball, the ball polarized and was attracted to the pipe's charge.

3. Conduction made the ball repel after it touched the pipe. When the two touched, the ball was charged, the same as the pipe, and they were repelled by each other.

4. Conduction again made the ball and pipe attract each other again. When you touched the ball, the ball transferred an electron to you by conduction. The ball was back to it's original state and was attracted to the pipe.

Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 9:54 PM EST

Name: "Brittany Burns"

1. To find out of the comb is positively or negatively charged, one would take an object with a known charge and put it up against the comb. If the comb is drawn toward the object with the known charge, then it is the opposite of the known charge. If the comb is repelled by the known charge, than it is the same charge.

2. The shirt taken from a dryer sticks to your body because while it was in the dryer friction was caused by its constant spinning and it creates a charge. When the shirt is put on, because your body is neutral, it becomes polarized as the opposite electrons move toward the shirt as they attract. Also, in a dryer there is a lack of water molecules to absorb the charge, therefore the attraction between the charges is much more noticeable when a shirt is taken directly from they dryer and put on.

Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 10:28 PM EST

Name: "Danielle Gronlie"

1. You can determine if it is negatively or positivly charged by puting the object near something that you know is either positive or negativly charged.  Then, you can look to see if the comb is attracted or repelled by that object.  When see what happens, you will know what the charge of the comb is.

2.  It sticks to your body because the shirt was charged due to friction with the drier.  when it comes out of the dyer, it wants to stick to your neutral body due to polarization. 

Thursday, 3 January 2008 - 11:52 PM EST

Name: "Meredith Withelder"

1. If one wishes to determine the charge of a comb, it must be placed within close proximity of another object with a known charge.  For example, let's say the object has a positive charge.  When placed near the comb, if the two objects attract, then it can be assumed that the comb has an opposite, negative charge.  If the two objects repel, then it can be concluded that the comb has a like-charge (in this case positive) to the object.

2. Clothing may stick to a person when taken out of the dryer because it first experiences a charge from friction in the dryer.  When the clothing comes near the body (an uncharged object), the electrons from the charge of the clothing cause the electrons in the body to polarize.  The negatively charged electrons from the clothing article move into the body when they come in contact with it.  The positively charged electrons in the body move toward the clothing creating an attractive force. ie: the clothing clings to the body. 

Friday, 4 January 2008 - 8:44 AM EST

Name: "Kevin Dougherty"

1.  To determine the charge that a comb has, you will need to find an object that has a known charge.  Pass the comb by it and see if the comb is attracted to or repelled by the object.  If it is attracted, you know it is of opposite charge, if it is repelled, you know that the charge is the same as the other object.

 2.  When a shirt or blouse is in the dryer, it rubs against the dryer walls and against other pieces of clothing.  This causes the shirt to take charge from the other materials through friction.  When you put the clothing on, it polarizes your skin, moving the like charges away, and drawing the opposite charges to your clothing, causing it to stick.

Friday, 4 January 2008 - 12:11 PM EST

Name: "Jonathan Madary"

1) In order to figure at the charge of the comb, it must be placed close to an object that has a known charge. If the object has a negative charge and the object repels from the comb, then the comb will have a negative charge. If the object is attracted to the comb, then the comb will have a positive charge because opposite charges attract each other.

2) A shirt tends to stick to you after it comes out of the dryer because of friction. The shirts in the dryer rub against each other, which causes friction. Then, the shirt tends to stick to your body when you put it on due to polarization.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008 - 9:55 AM EST

Name: "cheryl becker"

1. If the comb attracts teh silk scarf, then the two are oppositely charged. If the comb repels the scarf, then they have the same charge.

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