Static vs Dynamic Electricity
We all know about electricity as we see it functioning in the form of lights, fans, A.C’s, refrigerators and many other appliances. It is a kind of energy that has the ability to make appliances work. We cannot see electricity but its effect is seen, heard, smelled and can even be touched (as when we get a shock). The phenomenon of electricity can easily be explained through electron theory. There are basically two types of electricity, the dynamic electricity and static electricity. There are many differences in these two types of electricity that will be talked about in this article.
All matter is made up of atoms containing equal number of neutrons and protons in their nucleus and electrons revolving outside the nucleus in orbits. In normal circumstances, protons (positive charges) balance out electrons (negative charges) as they are equal in numbers. However, some atoms are capable of attracting electrons while some are capable of loosing their electrons. This is known as electron flow. Electrons in outer orbits of atoms are loose (less strongly attracted to protons in the nucleus) and are as such called free electrons. These electrons can be freed from the atoms and a steady stream of these electrons forms an electric current. On the basis of their ability to lose or gain electrons, substances are classified as conductors, insulators and semi conductors. While metals are conductors, glass, wood, rubber etc are insulators.
Static electricity is a phenomenon of insulators. When two insulators like a rubber balloon and a plastic scale are rubbed against each other, both become electrically charged. While one loses some electrons, other gains some electrons. This is seen as the balloon becoming able to stick on to a wall whereas scale acquires ability to attract small pieces of paper. The substance that loses electrons becomes positively charged and the substance that gains electrons becomes negatively charged. These charges are stationary and remain on the surface of the substance. Since there is no flow of electrons, this is referred to as static electricity.
On the other hand, when electrons are freed from a substance and made to flow in a material, it produces dynamic electricity and is the kind that we are familiar with. If electrons flow in a single direction, the current produced is called direct current (DC) (for example the current produced in the battery of your car). If electrons change their direction continuously from positive to negative, the electricity produced is called alternating current (AC). This is the kind of electricity that is supplied to our homes and runs all our appliances.
Static Electricity vs Dynamic Electricity
• Flow of electrons in a material is termed as electricity
• In case of static electricity there is no flow of electrons and it is a result of imbalance of positive and negative charges only. The electrons remain stationary and do not move.
• In the case of dynamic electricity, the flow of electrons can be either in a single direction (direct current), or it can be changing directions repeatedly (alternating current).