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L1 Static Electricity

Name: ___________________
Section: ___________________
Static Electricity
Part 1: Sticky Tape Electrostatics
Introduction: You will use transparent tape to construct a low budget electroscope and to
perform experiments that provide evidence for the following statements:
There are two types of charge.
Like charges repel.
Unlike charges attract.
The electric force between two charged objects depends strongly on the distance between them.
1. Tear off a 20 cm piece of tape and fold over one of the ends to make a handle. Press the tape firmly to the
tabletop. Quickly pull the tape from the table, suspending it in the air. While holding the tape, bring your
finger near to the tape without touching it. Describe the interaction between your finger and the tape and
discuss the mechanism through which this interaction occurs. Hint: your finger is not charged.
2. This interaction is an indication that the tape has acquired a charge. How does ripping tape from a table
leave the tape charged?
3. Make another strip of charged tape in the same way. How do the two charged tapes interact? How does the
distance between the tapes affect the interaction?
4. Discard the previous tapes. Tear off two more strips of tape and make a handle on each. Press one of the
tapes firmly to the tabletop. Press the second tape firmly to the top of the first one. Quickly pull the
combined tapes from the table. Now, quickly pull the tapes apart. Bring the tapes near each other. How do
these tapes interact?
5. Bring your finger near each of the tapes. Describe the interaction between your finger and each tape.
6. Do your experiments support the four statements in the introduction? Explain your reasoning.