• Question: why does my hair stick to a baloon

    Asked by littlemissknowitall to Douglas, Matt, Tom on 25 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Matthew Hurley

      Matthew Hurley answered on 24 Jun 2010:

      The friction causes a build up of static – just like in a thunder storm.

    • Photo: Douglas Blane

      Douglas Blane answered on 25 Jun 2010:

      The atoms that everything is made from usually have equal numbers of electrons and protons.

      Both of these carry an electric charge. The electron’s is negative. The proton’s is positive.

      Now opposite electric charges attract each other. Which is why an atom’s electrons and protons usually stay together.

      But atoms can lose electrons and that’s what happens when you rub a balloon. Electrons from you get captured by the balloon.

      This leaves your head or hand slightly positively charged. And the balloon slighlly negatively charged.

      So there’s a force of attraction between you. And the balloon sticks to your hair.

      Read a little more about it here. http://www.regentsprep.org/Regents/physics/phys03/aeleclab/ballrub.htm