The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Does a bears fur contain static charge?  (Read 1468 times)

Offline Thebox

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3159
  • Thanked: 45 times
    • View Profile
Does a bears fur contain static charge?
« on: 30/09/2015 23:25:33 »
Does a bears fur contain static charge?

« Last Edit: 30/09/2015 23:28:12 by chiralSPO »


 

Online chiralSPO

  • Global Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1878
  • Thanked: 143 times
    • View Profile
Re: Does a bears fur contain static charge?
« Reply #1 on: 30/09/2015 23:29:31 »
Fur can acquire an electric charge, just as our own hair does. I would not say that it is necessarily charged, and whether it gets a negative charge or positive charge depends on how it got that charge.
 

Offline evan_au

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4120
  • Thanked: 245 times
    • View Profile
Re: Does a bears fur contain static charge?
« Reply #2 on: 03/10/2015 07:00:29 »
The traditional source of static electricity (before the invention of plastics) was to rub cat fur with amber.

This leads to separation of charge, and the potential for electric sparks. It is possible to draw up a table of materials that are more or less likely to become positive (lose electrons) or negative (gain electrons).

Since cat hair, human hair and bear fur are all basically varieties of keratin, they should all be able to pick up a static charge if you rubbed them with a suitable material (like a plastic comb). There may be individual differences due to oil content, and what conditioner you last used, etc.

It won't work if Polar Bear hair is saturated with salt water - it will be too conductive, and you may get eaten for your excessive enthusiasm!
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Re: Does a bears fur contain static charge?
« Reply #2 on: 03/10/2015 07:00:29 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums