MadSci Network: Physics

Re: VRD: static electricity on magnetic surfaces

Date: Sat Mar 3 13:14:02 2001
Posted By: Bob Gibilisco, Staff, Process Engineering, Retired
Area of science: Physics
ID: 983318249.Ph

Interesting experiment.
Magnetic attraction and electrical conductivity of metals are separate 
properties and are not necessarily directly proportional to each other. 
Conductivity is a measure of the ability of materials to give up electrons 
to promote electron flow. Magnetism is a polorized magnetic field around a 
In your experiment, steel and aluminum are conductors, the balloon is a 
non-conductor. The relative conductivity of pure aluminum is 59 S/cm 
(Siemens/centimeter) compared to steel which is 3-15 S/cm. Since aluminum 
is a better conductor of electricity, it will dissapate the static 
electricity charge faster than steel resulting in releasing the balloon 
I hope this answers your question.


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