Static charge (Physics only) Static charge (Physics only)


  • When certain insulating materials are rubbed against each other they become electrically charged. Negatively charged electrons are rubbed off one material and on to the other. The material that gains electrons becomes negatively charged. The material that loses electrons is left with an equal positive charge.

When two electrically charged objects are brought close together they exert a force on each other. Two objects that carry the same type of charge repel. Two objects that carry different types of charge attract. Attraction and repulsion between two charged objects are examples of non-contact force.

Students should be able to:

  • describe the production of static electricity, and sparking, by rubbing surfaces
  • describe evidence that charged objects exert forces of attraction or repulsion on one another when not in contact
  • explain how the transfer of electrons between objects can explain the phenomena of static electricity.