15 Electrostatic Force Examples: Detailed Explanations

When two electric oppositely charged particles are at rest, there is a force that exists between those two charged particles called electrostatic force. A list of the electrostatic forces examples is going to be discussed in this post.

A detailed explanation of electrostatic force examples

Naturally, all the things are electrically neutral. The charges can be produced in them by rubbing or sliding the two neutral things causing one of them as negatively changed and another to acquire a positive charge resulting in electrostatic force.

Electrostatic Force examples
Electrostatic force examples

Rubbing the rod with silk clothes

One commonly known electrostatic force example is rubbing the rod with silk. Generally, the rod is electrically neutral. When you rub the rod with silk clothes, the rod loses some of the electrons and becomes positively charged, and the silk gains the electron to become negatively charged. Thus, rubbing creates the electrostatic force of attraction between the rod and silk.

Television screen

Have you ever observed that the television screen becomes dusty after some time? Why this happens often, do you know?

Well, the television screen becomes dusty after a while is due to electrostatic force. The television screen is generally positively charged. The positive charges attract the dust flying near the TV screen on the screen as the dust particles are considered to be negatively charged. Thus, an electrostatic force held the positively charged screen and negatively charged dust particles. Hence TV screens are one of the electrostatic force examples.

Nylon clothes

Nylon clothes are set as excellent electrostatic force examples. When two nylon clothes are made to rub one another, one of the cloths loses the electron and becomes positive, and another one gains the electron and becomes negative. We feel some force of attraction while trying to separate the clothes is nothing but the electrostatic force sets between the nylon clothes.

Image credits: Image by Emilian Robert Vicol from Pixabay 

Photographs sticking to the wrapper

In your album, the photos are sticking wrapper cover of the photograph is due to electrostatic force between the photograph and the wrapping cover. The upper surface of the photograph acts as a positive charge and attracts the cover to be held together.

Winter wear

Due to low humidity and dry air, the clothes stick to the body during winters, creating an electrostatic force between the fabric layer and the body—an electrostatic force developed between the fabric and the body when the person came into the air contact. While taking off the cloth, a sound can be observed; this is due to the separation of two charged bodies. To avoid sticking the fabric to the body during winters, moisturizers are used often.

Comb and pieces of papers

A very famous experiment we have been performing from the school days is comb attracting the lightweight paper pieces. It is a very good electrostatic force examples. When the oily hair is combed, and if we hold that comb near the paper pieces, the lightweight pieces of paper are attached to the comb because of electrostatic force. When we comb, the hair transfers some of the charges to the comb, and it acts as a negatively charged body. The paper pieces act as the positively charged body and are attracted by the comb creating electrostatic force between them.

Balloons rubbed with hair.

When the two balloons are rubbed with hair, and if we bring them closer, the two balloons are attracted by one another and stick together, creating the electrostatic force. After some time, the charge created between the balloons is died out, causing their separation. This is the most commonly used birthday party hack.


If you ever touched the metallic doorknob suddenly, you would have felt the electric shock. This is due to the electrostatic force between the doorknob and the skin. Since the doorknob is made up of metal, it has the ability to transfer the charges to the other body. This leads to set an electrostatic interaction between the skin and the knob. The metallic door knob is fitted with a wooden tool to avoid such sudden shock.

Image credits: Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay 

Kid’s hair after sliding over the plastic bouncer house

When the kids slide over the plastic bouncer, the hair stands up straight is because of electrostatic force. When the kids slide over the bouncer, due to the sliding friction, the hair acquires positively charged. Since there are like charges in hair, they try to repel one another, resulting in standing up straight.

Rubbing shoes over carpet

When you walk over the carpet, your shoe has some amount to negative charges. This results in your body acquiring extra electrons as your shoe rubs the carpet, and the carpet transfers negative charges to your shoe. If you suddenly touch any metallic surface, you will feel shocked setting the electrostatic force examples.

Photocopy machines

Photocopy machines use electrostatic force examples for coping with the page you want. The original page you need to copy is placed on the glass, which acts as the positive charge. A black powder called toner acts as the negative charge that attracts the image that has to be copied on the sheet of paper, giving you the photocopy of the page you require.

Image credits: Image by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay 

Plastic wrapper sticking to hand after removal of package

Have you ever observed that the plastic wrappers stick to your hand after you remove the package? If yes, why does it stick to the hand?

It is due to the electrostatic force. When you remove the plastic wrapper, the friction causes the electrons to displace from their position; thus plastic wrapper attains a negative charge. The hand now acts as the positively charged body attracting the plastic towards itself, creating the electrostatic force between the hand and the plastic wrapper.

The spontaneous explosion of grain silos

The occurrence of electrostatic force in the grain silos is the reason for the spontaneous explosion of grain silos. Due to low humidity, the dust in the grain attains the charges. If the grains are moved within the silos, the dust and grain cause combustion resulting in the explosion of silos. To prevent explosion, some expensive safety measures are installed in the silos.

Image credits: Image by Renee Gaudet from Pixabay 

Laser printers

Same as the photocopier, laser printers also use electrostatic force for printing purposes. To get high-quality prints, laser printers are equipped. Here laser moves over the negatively charged drum back and forth, producing the image. The attraction force between the laser and the drum is an electrostatic force that is responsible for creating the print.


Lightning is the natural phenomenon of electrostatic force. The lightning appears due to the collision of the clouds that consists of positive charges at the top and negative charges at the bottom. As the clouds collide, the charges grow bigger, resulting in lightning. Many number electric charges discharge due to lightning, causing the rapid movement of the electron in the atmosphere. The lightning is the reason for thundering; the sound we hear is due to the collision of clouds.

Image credits: Image by Ron van den Berg from Pixabay 

Electrostatic force and potential energy

The electrostatic force is a force of attraction, and repulsion exits between the two charges. The potential energy is the stored energy possessed by the particle at a stationary state due to configuration and position. Hence by the above two definitions, the electrostatic force can have the potential energy as both are due to the stationary body.

The energy stored in the charge at the static charges is called “electrostatic potential energy.

The electrostatic potential for the charge is given by


Where F is the electrostatic force, q is the charge, and E is the electric field.

Suppose the charge is moved from one position to another, let us say rref to r, the electrostatic potential energy will be

UE(r)=ke qQ/r

Where ke= 1/4 πɛ0 ;coulomb’s constant.

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