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Static

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Good conductors, such as metals, allow an electric charge to pass through them. Insulators, such as plastic, do not. A substance that gains electrons becomes negatively charged, while a substance that loses electrons becomes positively charged.

# Static electricity

Objects can be positively charged, negatively charged or neutral (no charge).

A substance that gains electrons becomes negatively charged, while a substance that loses electrons becomes positively charged.

When a charged object comes near to another object they will either attract or repel each other.

• If the charges are the same - they repel

• If the charges are opposite - they attract

• If one is charged and the other is not - they attract

Like charges repel. Unlike charges attract.

Try clicking the text on the right of this diagram to see how the charges behave.

An atom is made up of two parts - a positively charged nucleus surrounded by negatively charged electrons. In an uncharged (neutral) atom there are the same number of positive and negative charges.

An atom

When an acetate rod is rubbed with a duster, electrons are transferred from the rod onto the duster, making the rod positively charged. Play the animation below to see how this happens.

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