8 Examples of Electrostatic Force in Daily Life

Electrostatic Force

The electrostatic force is a force exerted by the particles of a charged body on the particles of a charged or uncharged body. It is one of the four fundamental forces of nature. Due to its relevance with Coulomb’s interaction, it is also known as Coulomb’s force. The electrostatic force is a non-contact force. It deals with the stationary electric charges. In short, a force of attraction or repulsion that exists between the charged particles of two objects is known as electrostatic force. The electrostatic force is often simply known as an electric force.


1. Nylon Clothes

When the clothes made up of nylon are rubbed against some other fabric or against the wearer’s skin, static electricity is formed. This electrostatic force developed between the skin and the clothing particles is accountable for the chattering sound caused while removing such clothes. To avoid static getting developed on a nylon cloth, a fabric softener must be added while washing it.

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2. Rubbing a Rod with a Cloth

When a rod is rubbed with a cloth, it tends to develop a certain charge on it. The polarity of the charge depends upon the nature of the material of the rod. A glass rod when rubbed with a piece of cloth develops a positive charge, whereas a plastic rod tends to develop a negative charge. On bringing these charged rods closer to a freely hanging pom-pom ball, a force of attraction or repulsion is observed. Therefore, the electrostatic force helps in concluding the charge that is present on the ball.

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3. Television Screen

The dust particles floating freely in the air get polarized by the television screen. Due to this, the charged dust particles stick to the television screen. This is the reason why a layer of dust gets deposited on the screen minutes after cleaning the previous layer. This interaction between the dust particles and the screen is known as the electrostatic interaction. If a person moves his/her hand even a few centimeters above the screen, he/she can easily feel the electrostatic force in action.

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4. Winter Wear 

The best example of the electrostatic force can be seen during the winter season when the air is dry and the humidity is low. Electrostatic force gets developed between the fabric layer and the skin unintentionally whenever the person moves. While taking off woolen clothes a crackling sound is made. This is because when the two charged bodies are separated from each other, an exchange of charges takes place. To avoid the development of electrostatic charges between the clothes and the skin, a person must moisturize his/her dry skin.

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5. Photocopier

A photocopier or a photocopy machine is one of the best examples of electrostatic force in real life. The original paper is placed on a glass screen. The image of this original paper is transferred to a drum that is positively charged. The ink powder or the toner used is usually charged with a negative polarity. The drum rolls against the paper on which the impression is required to be created. The ink then gets transferred to the paper, thereby successfully creating a photocopied image of the original document.

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6. Balloon Party Trick

The balloon party trick involves the deposition of charges on the outer surface of the balloon by rubbing it against a person’s hair. After developing a considerable amount of charge on its surface, the balloon easily sticks to any surface containing the opposite charge or no charge. This interaction between the two bodies is nothing but electrostatic interaction.

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7. Charged Comb

After we finish combing our hair, we unintentionally deposit a significant amount of charge on the teeth of the comb. When this charged comb is subjected to some lighter particles such as bits of paper, it causes the paper particles to get attracted to the comb. This process is nothing but a clear demonstration of electrostatic force existing between the comb and the paper particles.

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8. Doorknob 

When a person randomly touches a metallic doorknob, he/she is prone to feel a short term electric shock. This is due to the existence of electrostatic force between the doorknob and the person’s hand. Since the door nob is made up of metal, it is capable of transferring the electrons to every object that comes in contact with it. This transfer of electrons charges the other body and leads to the development of electrostatic interaction between the doorknob and the skin. One can effectively avoid it by touching a wooden surface before touching the metallic doorknob or handle.

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