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Kids Science Activities

Swinging Balloon

Materials Required
  • A plastic comb
  • A balloon
  • Thread

How to do it

  • Tie a piece of the thread to the inflated balloon.
  • Tie the balloon in a suitable place so that the balloon hangs freely and does not touch anything else.
  • Charge the comb by running it through long, dry hair several times, or vigorously rub the comb on a wool sweater.
  • Slowly bring the comb near the balloon. It will swing to touch the comb.
  • Hold the comb near the balloon until the balloon jumps away by itself.
  • Now try to touch the comb to the balloon again. It will move away as the comb approaches.

Explanation

Combing your hair moved electrons from your hair to the comb. The comb had a negative static charge. The neutral balloon was attracted to it. When they touched each other, electrons slowly moved from the comb to the cereal. Now both objects had the same negative charge, and the balloon was repelled.


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