Sometimes when I'm in bed at night, I rub my feet against the sheets and light is created. What exactly is going on?
I'm familiar with static electricity, and the triboelectric effect (creating a charge by rubbing 2 insulators together), and electrostatic discharge (releasing charge by touching a grounded conductor).
I believe that all of that is what is at work here, but I'm slightly confused since in other cases, the triboelectric effect and electrostatic discharge seem to occur as two separate steps, with different substances involved, and here, the two effects seem to be occurring simultaneously, with the same substances.
Can someone help me with a step-by-step explanation of the dynamics of what is going on?