Hey Ray! How Static Causes You To Get Shocked By Door Knobs, Why It Makes Hair Go Crazy

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When the air in your house gets dry, you may notice you get shocked when touching door knobs, and your hair goes crazy when you take off a sweater.

While you may know this is caused by static, do you know how static does this?


When the air is humid, natural, electrical charges move freely from one object to another, because humid air is a great conductor.


Dry air, on the other hand does not allow this movement of electrical charges. It is an insulator.


When these natural charges can’t freely move, some objects can store more of these charges than others.


This imbalance is where the science can become literally shocking.


When there is an imbalance of charges between objects, you can get a static shock when you touch or get close enough to an object or person who has much more or much less natural charges than you do.


When you get shocked, this is nature’s way of evening out those charges.


(Photo Credit: Ray Petelin)


These opposite charges are attracted to each other, and you see this in action when you rub a balloon on your hair and stick it to a wall.


There is an imbalance of charges, one positive and the other negative, causing the balloon and wall to be attracted, or stick to each other.


This is what is meant by “opposites attract.”


(Photo Credit: Ray Petelin)


Similar charges, on the other hand repel!


When you take off a sweater, your hair may sometimes go crazy.


Your sweater is leaving similar charges on individual hairs on your head.


When your hairs are similarly charged, they try to get away from each other, thus standing up, since they’re attached to your head!


If they weren’t attached, they would fly off.


(Photo Credit: Ray Petelin)


We can use those same principles to make a floating ring, that looks just like magic.


All you need is a vegetable bag from the grocery store, scissors, a balloon, and a towel or blanket.


Cut the top inch or so off the bag. You can keep doing this until you run out of bag, if you want to make more than one ring.


(Photo Credit: Ray Petelin)


Now rub the balloon on the towel or blanket. Now, do the same to the ring your made from the bag.


(Photo Credit: Ray Petelin)


Lastly, drop the ring onto the balloon and watch it float.


You can try to charge up your balloon and the ring you made from the bag on your hair, too.


It is also important to note that this works best when the air in your house is dry, because that helps to insulate the charges better.