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Ideally, if you rub a balloon with your hair then and only then electron should transfer to the balloon surface, right? Why only by touching, non-conducting balloon gets electron on its surface? Clarify upon this please.

First question : Why even electrons are transferred to non-conducting balloon?

Second Question: I saw that when balloons are filled with air and you rub it with yourself, it would get negatively charged and I could stick them on the wall, but what happens if there is no air in balloon (freshly bought from store) and I still try to rub and place on the wall. Will it work? Why?

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The triboelectric series describes the direction in which charge is transferred when different substances make contact and are the separated again.

It is more difficult to get the same charged on a balloon without air. One reason is that the charge per area needs to be much larger to keep up the weight. According to Gauss Law, that means higher fields and potentials. Have you tried? I suggest inflate first, charge, test if it sticks, then deflate, try again.

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  • $\begingroup$ "the charge per area needs to be much larger to keep up the weight" I didn't understand this .Can you clarify this ? Are you saying that, initially deflated balloon has some weight of rubber so, because of the weight, it is not possible to stick the deflated balloon on the wall? $\endgroup$ – Rajan Dec 9 '16 at 18:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Rajan I made a simple assumption that the charge needed to attract the balloon to the ceiling or to a wall would only depend in weight and not on radius. (Maybe this assumption is not correct.) Suppose it is 100 nanocoulomb to suspend 1 gram. For an inflated balloon, this would be distributed over an area that is about two orders of magnitude larger than for an empty balloon. Have you tried any experiment yet? $\endgroup$ – Pieter Dec 9 '16 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ I haven't tried the experiment yet but, I will surely try this and btw thanks for your response. $\endgroup$ – Rajan Dec 9 '16 at 21:39
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Note the triboelectric series . Skin is at the top of the positive list, it means that it loses electrons easily when rubbing , and , why not, even touching rubber , which is a receptor for negative charges. Your "then and only then " is wrong.

What you observe is that just by handling the balloon electrons from the skin transfer to the balloon.

First question : Why even electrons are transferred to non-conducting balloon?

There are receptors on the balloon that can keep the electron in a layer of negative ions. Receptors means that there are energy levels above the neutral state which are attractive to the electrons and they can settle there.

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Note the triboelectric series . Skin is at the top of the positive list, it means that it loses electrons easily when rubbing , and , why not, even touching rubber , which is a receptor for negative charges. Your "then and only then " is wrong.

What you observe is that just by handling the balloon electrons from the skin transfer to the balloon.

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