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Q. 6

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Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach with Modern Physics
Found in: Page 623

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Short Answer

A plastic balloon that has been rubbed with wool will stick to a wall. Can you conclude that the wall is charged? If so, where does the charge come from? If not, why does the balloon stick?

When balloon rubbed with wool stick to a wall, static electricity is responsible.

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Step by Step Solution

Step1: Static electricity

The effect is due to static electricity where we have plastic balloons. The accumulation of electric charge in an object is referred to as static electricity. Static electricity is important because it can cause objects to cling to one another.

Step2: Reaction of electrons on the balloon surface

This occurs when two objects with opposite charges, positive and negative, attract one other. Wool is a conductive material, which means it rapidly takes away electrons when we're talking about our problem. As a result, rubbing a balloon against a wall causes electrons to migrate from the wool to the balloon's surface.

Step3: Balloon an electrical insulator

The balloon's rubbed portion now bears a negative charge. Rubber objects, such as the balloon, are electrical insulators, meaning they restrict the flow of electrical charge through them. This is why only a portion of the balloon may be negatively charged while the remainder is neutral.

Step4: Final result of the reaction on balloon

The balloon will be drawn to the wall once it has been touched enough times to gain a substantial negative charge. Despite the fact that the wall should ordinarily have a neutral charge, the charge within it can reorganize, attracting the negatively charged balloon to a positively charged spot. The charge is not discharged instantly since the wall is also an electrical insulator.

As a result, static electricity is to blame for this impact.

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