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Just Another Static Monday – Dancing Balloons

This post is part of a series of static electricity activities. Check out the whole series! For a brief discussion of static electricity basics, check out the first post.

k3335875Sticking one balloon on the wall is fun but what if we bring another charged balloon into the mix?

Blow up and tie off two balloons and tie a long (2 feet is good) string to the end of each balloon.

Charge up each balloon by rubbing them on your hair, the dog or a piece of wool.

Hold the ends of the strings together so the balloons hang down together and watch the fun! The negatively charged balloons (from all those electrons you scraped off the dog) should dance around each other without touching.

To make things interesting, find a piece of glass – like the kind in a spare picture frame – and a piece of flannel or silk. I’m sure you’ve got some pajamas in your drawer that will do the trick. Rubbing the fabric on the glass will remove electrons and give the glass a positive charge.

Place the positively charged glass between the tow negative balloons and watch the balloons come together once again due to their mutual attraction to the glass.

If you’re really feeling crazy, try charging three or more balloons and see what happens!