How To: Inductively charge an electroscope using vinyl, glass and a finger

Inductively charge an electroscope using vinyl, glass and a finger

If you want to learn about inductive charging, this science video will tell you all you need to know through a quick experiment that you can perform at home, using an electroscope, a piece of vinyl (window blind), a drinking glass and the secret ingredient— a human finger.

Start with the object that you want to charge either positively or negatively. In this video, an electroscope is used. Next, use the triboelectric effect (triboelectricity) to charge something like a balloon, for example. Rub the balloon against your hair and the ballon will become negatively charged. Then hold the balloon near the object you want to charge. This repels negative charges from the part of the object nearest the balloon to the part of the object farthest from the balloon. This is called induction. The balloon has induced a movement of charge in the object.

Next, while still holding the balloon near the object, touch the object with your finger near where the balloon is. This pulls some negative charges from the object onto your hand and when you move your hand away, you take these negative charges with you. That leaves the object with more positive charges than negative charges. The object is now positively charged.

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