The machine

The story

Static history

The challenge

For teachers

For reference



The Thales Challenge.

 Rubbed amber will attract small objects. This could not be explained in 6th century B.C.

  We now know this has to do with electron transfer.

Practical Investigation.

Some materials get charged by friction more easily than others.  Design an experiment to find out which materials charge better than others. Electrical insulators work better than conductors.  There are now a huge number of different types of plastic.  Most people would find it hard to give the scientific name for each material.  If you get stuck, you can give the name of the object, for example. 

1, Old vinyl record.

2, Expanded polystyrene packaging. 

3, Old CD. 

4, Clear plastic ruler. etc. 

You will need to find a way of comparing the amount of charge on the different objects.  

This link may be useful. Click here.



  Prepare a presentation to the class, which explains the physics behind what you have found out.

How do charged objects attract others? Try to make your presentation interesting by including a demonstration. For example, if a plastic ruler is rubbed with a dry cloth, it will bend a thin stream of water.  You may wish to demonstrate and explain this effect.

Enter the Key word :

Select the Search Engine :


Open in a new window