Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

When we rub our hairs with a comb, and then try to attract small pieces of paper, they're attracted by the comb. The pieces of the paper were not electrified before they were attracted. Then they might be neutral. Why does the comb attract the pieces of the paper if they're neutral, and have no influence of a specific charge on them (Pieces of paper).

share|improve this question

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

This is because the neutrality of polarity can be changed by electric field in this case. When you create - charge in the comb and you expose the pieces of paper to the electric field created by the charge, you will polarise them so that the part closer to the comb will be + and the other will be -. Explaining image - the brush and some papers

Here, see the electric field. The same polarities do not like each other: enter image description here

share|improve this answer
This does not answer the most important thing -- why are there more negative charges in the comb in the first place? –  santa claus May 7 '13 at 0:11
Unfortunately, this question is not being asked by the OP. –  Tomáš Zato May 8 '13 at 13:45

Basically, when an electrification takes place, electrons are not created but they are transferred..... in the case of comb attracting tiny tiny bits of papers when rubbed with dry hair is because electrons from the dry hair gets transferred to the comb and now the comb induces a dipole in the bitties of paper and the paper gets attracted...

share|improve this answer

Due to the induced dipole they get attracted to the electrified comb i.e, negative charge.

share|improve this answer

when we comb our hair our comb get charged and when we bring comb near pieces of paper the charge get induced on paper.[induced means when we bring any charged partical towards neutral thing ,the neutral thing develop opposite charge on them]

share|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.