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Can we make a bulb glow using static electricity? If yes, how? If no, why?

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ayamshrestha | Student, Grade 9 | Honors

Posted July 1, 2012 at 2:50 AM via web

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Can we make a bulb glow using static electricity? If yes, how? If no, why?

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justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 1, 2012 at 1:23 PM (Answer #1)

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A bulb glows when an electric charge flows through the filament in the bulb. The flow of current I creates heat in the filament that is equal to I^2*R*t where R is the resistance of the filament and t is the duration of the flow of current through the filament.

A part of the heat generated is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength that lies in the range of visible light. This is the visible light emitted by a bulb. It is not possible to make a bulb glow by the use of static electricity. The charges have to move through the filament.

If two oppositely charged bodies are connected to either end of a bulb a current flows through the filament on its own. This is the principle behind the operation of flash lights where a bulb is connected across the oppositely charged plates of a capacitor.

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