gcsescience.com 2 gcsescience.com
How can an Insulator get an Electrostatic Charge?
Insulators can transfer charge by
When the surface of one insulator rubs against another,
electrons can be transferred.
The insulator that gains
electrons will get a negative charge,
the insulator that loses electrons will get a positive charge.
It is most
important to know that it is only the negative electrons
which can move. Positive charges (protons) cannot move
because they are stuck inside the nuclei of the atoms of the material.
For example, if polythene (a
type of plastic) is rubbed
with a dry cloth,
electrons are transferred from the cloth to the polythene.
The polythene gains electrons and becomes negatively charged,
the cloth loses electrons and becomes positively charged.
It is not
possible to predict in advance
which way the
electrons will be transferred for a certain material.
The same cloth, when rubbed against a different type of
plastic called acetate, will gain electrons and become
negatively charged, leaving the acetate with a positive charge.
See the GCSE
if you want to know more about electrons and protons.
Links Electrostatic Charge Revision Questions
gcsescience.com Physics Quiz Index Electrostatic Charge Quiz gcsescience.com
Home GCSE Chemistry GCSE Physics
Copyright © 2015 gcsescience.com. All Rights Reserved.