First off, I am no physicist, please don't judge me if I said something wrong. I read that insulator surface can carry a static charge by rubbing against another insulator with a different electron affinity e.g. fur rubbing against plastic. Does this charge last long in a typical room condition (no conductor is touching it)?

If not, what are some other ways to make a stable charge on a material (e.g. like how does static charge during dry winter generates)? I am asking this since I want to induce a dipole in a piece of metal conductor for a long time. Or is there ways to generate a stable charge/dipole on the metal itself without relying on induction?

  • $\begingroup$ It sounds like you want an electret. $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    Commented Jun 10, 2018 at 18:37

1 Answer 1


Under typical conditions, static charge on an insulator will decay to a half of its value within minutes: faster if humidity is high, slower if humidity is low.

If you don't need high voltage for your experiment, you can create a long lasting dipole inserting a battery between two metal rods.

If you want positive and negative charges to be concentrated near the ends of the dipole, you can use two batteries connected in series as shown on the diagram below.

enter image description here


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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