|MadSci Network: Physics|
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 clothing. 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 biochemicals. 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.
Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Physics.