All Charged Up: Wiggly Water

A simple experiment to see electricity in action

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Running a comb through your hair on a dry day charges the comb with static electricity.

HERE’S HOW

Comb your hair on a dry day. Hold the comb near a thin trickle of water from the faucet. The water should bend toward the comb.

WHY?

Running a comb through your hair creates friction that moves electrons from your hair to the comb, charging the comb with static electricity. The comb now has a negative charge. When you move the comb near the water, its negative charge pushes away some of the negative charge in the water, leaving the water with a positive charge. Positive and negative charges attract, so the water bends toward the comb.