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Become a water bender

You will need:


1. Turn the tap on slowly, stop when you just get a complete stream of water to flow, i.e. small flow.

2. Run the comb through your hair at least 10 times. Dry hair makes the experiment work better.

3. Move the comb toward the stream of water. What happens to the stream?

4. Run the comb through your hair again and repeat the experiment. Does the stream change again?
Bending water with comb
Using a charged comb to bend water
Be Amazing Book Front Cover; Ben Newsome, teacher & founder of Fizzics Education. Be Amazing -how to teach science the way primary kids love
Be Amazing!
How to teach science, the way primary kids love

Read more about Be Amazing

Why does this happen?

Rubbing an object can cause it to build up an electrical charge in the object.
This happens because the rubbing action can make one object pass electrons to the other. Which way the electrons travel is dependent on which materials you are rubbing together.

A loss of electrons makes an object positively charged,
gain of electrons makes an object negatively charged.

So your comb becomes more positive and your hair more negative!
Oppositely charged objects are attracted together. The water is attracted to the comb... so what sort of charge does the water hold? Try picking up small pieces of paper or styrofoam balls using the comb!

Build up of electrical charge can cause lightning. Check out how lightning works at the Franklin Institute site!

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Back to Electricity & Magnetism experiments

>100 Free Science Experiments on this site!

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