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College Physics (Urone)
Found in: Page 661

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Short Answer

Why does a car always attract dust right after it is polished? (Note that car wax and car tires are insulators.)

Static electricity is responsible for the attraction of dust particles toward the car.

See the step by step solution

Step by Step Solution

Step 1: Charging by rubbing

When two bodies are rubbed together, they become charged. One body will lose electrons, becoming positively charged, while the other gain that charge and becomes negatively charged.

Step 2: Newly polished car attracts dust

Rubbing the surfaces creates charges on the surfaces giving rise to static electricity.

Processes such as rubbing and polishing make an uncharged surface, charged. The wax and car tires are insulators and do not allow any charge conduction. So, there are some charges on the surface of the polished car because of which the dust particles present in the air get attracted to the car.

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