Static Electricity

What Does Static Electricity Mean?

Static electricity is a phenomenon that comes from a difference or imbalance in electrical charge. This type of phenomenon has influenced electrical design and technology in various ways and helps provide observable examples of electricity and its manifestations at an atomic level.


Techopedia Explains Static Electricity

In general, static electricity happens because of the movement of electrons from one surface to another. Categories of static electricity include heat-induced charge difference and charge-induced discharge difference. Concrete examples include lightning, which is a powerful transfer of electricity to the ground, and various observable phenomena involving static electricity that is often built up through the rubbing of fabrics or carpets.

Ways that technology has responded to static electricity include the Faraday cage, an 1800s-era invention designed to protect internal areas from electrical interference. One of the modern technologies relevant to static electricity is the anti-static bag or container, or the anti-static strap. These kinds of tools are used to protect sensitive semiconductors and other electrical pieces from a buildup of static electricity that could be harmful to them.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.