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Fun with Static Electricity at Work – Amazing ‘Trick’ Coffee Cup

Coffee cup "stuck" on wall
Coffee cup “stuck” on wall (Townsquare media image)

Now, we realize why science teachers were so much fun!

Today at the radio ranch,  we were making coffee, and I grew tired of people who don’t properly replace the styrofoam cups.

They get out a new package, packed in that flimsy plastic, but only rip open the top enough to remove one cup, and leave the package standing on the counter.

In the process of flipping the cups over so the large business end was on the bottom, I pulled the plastic sleeve off rapidly.    In doing so,  one of the top cups popped out, but stuck to the kitchen wall (see picture).

Those plastic sleeves, turns out, are great for creating static electricity.   According to  the website, science made easy,   static electricity occurs when there’s a buildup of opposite positive and negative electrons and protons.   These are what make up an atom – the building block from which every object on earth is made.   The opposites attract, creating some funny adhesions, including our styrofoam cup to the wall.

It’s also why static electricity creates a “bad hair day.”  Certain elements such as a wool cap,  or carpet or types of plastic, help enhance these electrons and protons to create static.  So when you rub your feet on certain types of carpet or floors, the static electricity builds up. When you touch metal, the electricity is discharged from your body.   It’s a crude form of “electrocution.”

So enjoy our magic cup, and this ends out science lesson for the day!

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