The effects that electricity and electrical charges can have on various objects are many, we can even use static electricity to move elements such as water, so we will be able to visualise the behaviour of certain elements in the face of electrical charges. In this article, we will see how to divert a water jet without touching itA simple experiment that can be shown at any science fair.
- A tap with water.
- A woollen cloth.
- An object that can be electrically charged such as a comb or a glass rod.
Preparing our experiment
The first thing we are going to do, is to get a water jet that is constant and invariable over time. To do this, we must adjust the tap or faucet until we obtain a smooth but constant jet of water that is fine and regular. This may take some time, but it is essential that the water jet has these characteristics.
Once we achieve the water jet Now it is time to electrically charge the selected object. In our case, a small glass rod used in laboratories, but you can use a comb or a balloon. To charge the object, rub it vigorously on a woollen cloth for a few minutes.
Once the object is loaded, it is time to bring it carefully close to the water jet without touching it. When we place the loaded object very close to the water, we will see how the jet of liquid is deflected from its original trajectory.
We can perform this experiment with various objects that we can load statically, to visualise the difference in the deflection of the water jet and to see how the material of the object and the amount of load affects the deflection of the water.
How the experiment works
When we rub an object made of plastic or other material on a woollen cloth for a certain period of time, a phenomenon of electron migration occurs. In one of the bodies that is part of the rubbing process, a loss of electrons takes place, which allows that body to gain a negative charge and the other body to gain electrons and obtain a positive charge.
Water is an element of neutral charge that has a peculiarity, its molecules are asymmetrical, that is to say, they are not evenly distributed in the element, having a positive and a negative end, as if it had poles. This generates a magnetic field which, when approached to an electric charge, is aligned with this charge, so that the pole of the water jet opposite to the charge we approach is attracted by this charge, and the flow of water is diverted by a very interesting electrostatic effect, being able to deflect the water jet without touching it.