MadSci Network: Physics

Re: I need 10 ways to get rid of static cling.

Date: Mon Feb 1 00:54:10 1999
Posted By: Luke McCormick, , Health Physics, US Army
Area of science: Physics
ID: 916290391.Ph

Static cling is caused by a build-up of electric charge on parts of the 
article of clothing.  What we need to do is get rid of the unwanted build-
up. You might say we need to 'ground' the article.  
One way would be to pound a metal rod into the ground, attach a copper 
wire to the rod and rub the copper wire over the clothing.
You could rub the clothing on a metal sewer pipe too, but you mother 
probably wouldn't be too happy with that idea.

The electric charge in static is usually negative, a build up of electrons 
on the article of clothing. We could neutralize the negative charge with 
some positive charge.

One way would be to use the positive end of a battery and rub that on the 
 How about an electric DC power source, and rub the positive terminal on 
the clothing. Be careful not to get shocked.

Alpha particles are radiation that is positively charged. If you have some 
radioactive materials that emit alpha particles and hold it close to the 
clothes that should do the trick too.
We use Polonium-210, an alpha emitting radioactive material, in a rod to 
neutralize the static charge on plastic vials that we use to assay 

These are a couple of ways. Can you come up with other ways to 'ground' 
the clothing, or neutralize the electric charge?
 Hope this helps.

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