Static electricity, 19th century

Static electricity, 19th century

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Static electricity. Demonstrator holding a sheet of statically charged tissue paper, while using his other hand to induce a spark of electricity. Charging is achieved by rubbing the tissue paper so that electrons on the surface separate out. When a conductor (here, the other hand) is brought near to these loose electrons, a visible spark and shock occurs, sometimes accompanied by an audible crackle. Modern research on this topic began with Michael Faraday's 1832 experiments that showed it was a form of electric charge. Artwork from the first volume (first period of 1888) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.

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