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Topic – Current and Static Electricity

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Read about current and static electricity, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

Current and Static Electricity

Static Electricity

Pull a wool hat off and your hair tries to stand on end. Walk across a carpet and you may get a shock when you touch something. Why does this happen?

When objects rub, a charge builds up on the surface. The charge can be positive or negative, like the poles on a battery. You cannot see the charge on an object, but you might see what the charge does. The charge makes hairs stand up and balloons stick to walls. The charge can also make a stream of water bend toward the charge.

Because the charge stays in place for a while, we call this charge static electricity. When the charge moves from one object to another, you may see—and feel—the spark.

Current Electricity

Current electricity flows along a path called a circuit. A circuit connects the source of electricity to a load that does something useful. The source might be a power plant, or it might be a battery. A light bulb is one type of load.


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