Lab Notes: Electrostatic Phenomena

The Electrostatic Phenomena lab is intended to be done largely without preparation.

It's an education in scientific thinking.

Nevertheless, it is helpful to read over the ``especially relevant links''.

There are a few points about the lab to make too:

  1. The long cords on the hangers tend to cause the hangers to swing easily with the breeze. Pinching the hanger cord a few inches above the hanger seems to give about the right amount of freedom to see small electric force effects without random breeze effects.

  2. Rub wool on rubber and styrofoam on plastic unless otherwise directed.

  3. The chair covers seem to work better than the wool at charging the rods.

  4. One should say rubber charge and plastic charge at first. But after the oscilloscope gives a positve and negative readings, it is good to speak of positive and negative charge.

  5. Turne the field mill's off when not using them. They are very noisy.

  6. Don't let wool fragments drop in the field mills.

  7. The metal rods may not hold a charge well if the humidity is high.

  8. Whether polarized neutral rod gives an increased field or a decreased seems to be dependend on cases---or so it seemed last semester. I think more reproduceable results are obtained using a long wire from the rack.