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Unformatted text preview: Phy 1033 Discovering Physics Laboratory #5 Electrostatic Charge and Forces Objective In this experiment you will explore various aspects of electrostatic charging and electrostatic forces as we discussed and demonstrated in lecture. Introduction You are probably aware of various phenomena associated with static electricity or static charge. Some of the more familiar examples include: rubbing a balloon in your hair and sticking it to a wall, getting a shock when you walk on a carpet and touch a doorknob, or the sticking together of clothes taken from a dryer. Living in Florida, we are usually spared the more severe effects of static charge. Charge is the name given to the property of matter responsible for electromagnetic in- teractions. As you know, ordinary matter is composed of atoms of the various elements, and all atoms are made from neutrons, protons, and electrons. Neutrons and protons reside in the atomic nucleus around which the electrons are in continual motion. Neutrons have no charge while the protons and electrons have equal but opposite charge, with the proton charged positively and the electron charged negatively. Normally, matter is uncharged with equal numbers of protons and electrons. However, electrons are fairly mobile and quite a few can be removed from or added to a material by simple rubbing. As the number of electrons added or removed increases, further charging becomes more dicult. Because the force between charges is so strong, effects such as attraction and repulsion can be quite noticeable even if only a very small fraction of the atoms in a material gain or lose electrons. Procedure Precede any observations and/or answers with a description of the associated procedure, and write in complete sentences. The Pie Plate Demonstrator The pie plate demonstrator is illustrated in Fig. 1. The first thing needed to get the demon- strator to show anything is a plate of electrostatic charge. This is created by vigorously rubbing a Plexiglas sheet (not shown) with a piece of felt. Place the Plexiglas at on the lab table, grab the felt in the middle and bunch it up so that its edges will rub against the...
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