Shape and Charge: Faraday's Ice Pail Experiment Revisited
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© 2020 American Chemical Society.
Electrically insulating objects gain a net electrical charge when brought in and out of contact. This phenomenon, known as triboelectrification, is very common and familiar to many of us from a car static zap, to the danger of ignition for hydrocarbons flowing through poorly grounded pipes, to the transfer of inks in a xerographic device. Despite our familiarity with triboelectrification, we still do not have a complete chemical picture of its origin,(1−4) and the exact mechanism by which objects that do not conduct electricity gain an electric charge remains a long-standing scientific puzzle.(4−6) In this issue of ACS Central Science, Soh and co-workers explore another aspect of this phenomenon: the relationship between static charge and the shape of the objects.(7)
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