Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Picking up a circuit board from a table, or our clothing rubbing as we walk, sit and work, are all examples of movement that can create static charge. One object, or surface, picks up additional electrons from the surface that it is separated from, and becomes negatively charged. The surface that had given up the electrons then becomes positively charged. As electrons transfer, the absence or surplus of electrons creates an electrical field known as static electricity.

Okay so the thing giving up electrons should get destroyed in the long run? I mean from where the lost electrons come back from?

I know this sounds insane but really? if all electrons leave the atom, then atom positive charge, then slowly other atoms take way the protons also, then the nucleus is ASHAMED is attempts sucide!

please help really confused.

share|cite|improve this question

Not to worry :).

The electrons that come out with rubbing are electrons that are loosely bound to the material, from the last energy level of the atoms. To get a second one out from the same atom would take a lot more energy, so it usually does not happen. Not to forget that there are a large number of atoms ( about 10^23/mole) making up any matter so positive charges can build up by enough of them having one electron missing.

The positively charged surface slowly re absorbs electrons from the molecules of the air in the atmosphere, or from you when a spark goes off.

share|cite|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.