How to catch a butterfly in 5 seconds
Help Newt jump to the butterfly!
Warning! Only under adult supervision.
- paper towel;
- plastic comb;
- piece of cloth;
Cut Newt's picture out of a paper towel and tape it to a table. Tape a picture of a butterfly to a plastic comb, rub the comb vigorously on a piece of cloth, and hold it close to Newt. Newt begins to jump!
Everything around us is ultimately made of atoms, and their composition includes charged particles: protons and electrons. Protons are positively charged, while electrons are negatively charged. Normally, they compensate for each other, resulting in an object with a neutral charge. When two objects are rubbed together, the surface layer of atoms of one object can give some of its electrons to the other. Consequently, the object that donates its electrons becomes positively charged, and the one that accepts electrons gains a net negative charge. When you rub the plastic comb on the piece of cloth, its surface acquires some electrons and it gains a negative charge. An electric field appears around it, which can affect the charges in other objects. Like charges repel one another, and opposite charges attract each other. For example, you can use the plastic comb to attract a paper towel. The electrons on the comb repel the electrons in the paper and attract the protons. As a result, “Newt’s” protons are displaced towards the comb, and its electrons are displaced away from it. The closer the charges are, the stronger they interact. Therefore, the net force turns out to be the force of attraction, and Newt's picture jumps to the comb.
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