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What you'll need

  • A plastic comb or inflated balloon or short piece of PVC pipe
  • A narrow stream of water from a tap
  • Dry hair
Scott Snell
test optional note

Instructions

  • Turn on the water from the tap to create a very narrow stream of water (but not dripping)
  • Run the comb through your hair (around 10 times). Or if you are using a balloon or other object, then rub back and forth for just a few seconds.
  • Slowly move the comb or balloon towards the stream of water (without touching it).

What's happening?

The static electricity you built up by combing your hair (or rubbing the balloon) attracts the water. Do you see the stream of water bend?

Explanation

  • As you rub the comb through your hair, negatively charged particles called electrons jump from your hair to the comb which makes the comb negatively charged.
  • The water contains both positively and negatively charged particles and the two charges balance out making the water neutral.
  • Positive and negative charges are attracted to each other so when you move the negatively charged comb towards the stream, the positively charged particles are 'attracted' to the negatively charged comb.
  • This causes the stream of water to bend!
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