Static Energy

The big balloon experiment
Providing static energy

For ssp we had to conduct an experiment about how and when lightning is created. To find out, we would try and create static energy to represent lightning as it would in the real world. To do this we would use two balloons.

Research question
Will there be a visible release of static energy between two rubbed balloons?

We expect that we need a certain charge of static energy. This energy is created by friction between two different of the same object(s). this friction causes the object to change from neutral to +, or from neutral to -. When two of the same charged objects come close together they will repel. When the charges are different the balloons will in fact provide for this charge and it will be released between the two balloons, so they will be neutral again. So when the charge is the same, they will repel, when different, energy is released and a spark is formed, likely to be blue.

Observations and results
Once the balloon were rubbed against hair or wool, the charges are the same, so they repelled. When rubbed on different object, the charge was different and they attract each other, no spark was formed and no lightning bold.

Our expectations were wrong. There was no visible spark, or anything close to representing lightning.
Will there be a visible release of static energy between two rubbed balloons? No there will not be any sign of a spark or bolt.

Why was there no spark? We figured at first that the static energy was to low. For a visible spark that we anticipated, there would have to be at least ten thousand volts of energy needed. But as we know that in the area were clouds form and lightning originates the conditions might differ from a darkened room. From that we can conclude two things. One: with the wrong conditions you could never reach static charge of ten thousands volt, or with much more trouble. Or the more simple...