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Name: Linden R.
Status: other
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 3/26/2004

What is the temperature of static electricity?

Linden- I do not think the idea of temperature applies much to static electricity.

If you make a gas hotter, it expands or pushes outwards harder. Static electricity does not do that. An existing trapped charge will merely stay the same when its object gets hotter.

It takes a certain amount of energy to make an object hotter. It takes no extra energy if there is a static electric charge on the object.

Sometimes increased temperature might loosen up electrical leakage paths so the charge can slowly bleed away. But this temperature dependence would be very different for every different kind of static-prone insulating material. It is more a property of each different material than a temperature of the static charge.

I have read that lightning happens more in warmer atmospheres. So I guess the ability for friction to generate static electricity might increase with temperature. Somewhat logical, because heat often helps electrons occasionally jump from one stuck place to another. Then the ongoing motion carries the accidentally misplaced electron far from home.

But I still cannot think of a way to call that a temperature.

Jim Swenson

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