the Physics Education Technology Project
Students explore static electricity by simulated rubbing of a balloon on a sweater. The simulation of the charges in the sweater, balloon, and adjacent wall, illustrate charge transfer and polarization. This item is part of a larger collection of simulations developed by the Physics Education Technology project (PhET). The simulations are animated, interactive, and game-like environments.
9-12: 4D/H1. Atoms are made of a positively charged nucleus surrounded by negatively charged electrons. The nucleus is a tiny fraction of the volume of an atom but makes up almost all of its mass. The nucleus is composed of protons and neutrons which have roughly the same mass but differ in that protons are positively charged while neutrons have no electric charge.
9-12: 4D/H2. The number of protons in the nucleus determines what an atom's electron configuration can be and so defines the element. An atom's electron configuration, particularly the outermost electrons, determines how the atom can interact with other atoms. Atoms form bonds to other atoms by transferring or sharing electrons.
4G. Forces of Nature
6-8: 4G/M5. A charged object can be charged in one of two ways, which we call either positively charged or negatively charged. Two objects that are charged in the same manner exert a force of repulsion on each other, while oppositely charged objects exert a force of attraction on each other.
9-12: 4G/H3. Most materials have equal numbers of protons and electrons and are therefore electrically neutral. In most cases, a material acquires a negative charge by gaining electrons and acquires a positive charge by losing electrons. Even a tiny imbalance in the number of protons and electrons in an object can produce noticeable electric forces on other objects.
11. Common Themes
6-8: 11B/M1. Models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.
This resource is part of 2 Physics Front Topical Units.
Topic: "Static" Electricity Unit Title: Electric Charge
Explore static electricity by rubbing a virtual balloon on a sweater, then on an adjacent wall. The interactions among the sweater, balloon, and wall illustrate charge transfer and polarization. See "PhET Teacher Ideas" directly below for a step-by-step student guide to use with this simulation.
Topic: "Static" Electricity Unit Title: Static Electricity for the Early Grades
This simulation is fun for teachers and students alike. Rub the virtual balloon against the sweater and watch the charge transfer from the wool to the balloon. Then move the balloon to an adjacent wall with neutral charge -- kids will see an interaction they probably won't expect. These interactions among the sweater, balloon, and wall will help students understand that opposites attract in charge interactions, while identical charges repel. Just as important, the model shows that charge is conserved.....the electrons are separated and transferred somewhere else.
%0 Electronic Source %D March 3, 2006 %T PhET Simulation: Balloons and Static Electricity %I Physics Education Technology Project %V 2017 %N 26 March 2017 %8 March 3, 2006 %9 application/java %U https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/balloons
Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.
An inquiry-based student guide developed specifically for use with the Balloons and Static Electricity simulation. It gives explicit help in simulation set-up with guided inquiry for students as they explore interactively. Appropriate for middle school and 9th grade physical science.