Water Bending

Do you think a balloon can bend water?  

1. Turn your faucet on low and slow so you have a steady stream of water.
Create static electricity and charge your balloon by rubbing it on your head
for one minute.  Without touching the water, move the balloon close to the stream of water.

How did the water bend?  

Balloon: When you rub the balloon on your head, negatively charged particles called electrons jump from your hair to the balloon.  Static electricity is created by the friction between the balloon and your hair.  

Illustration of a water molecule H2O

Water: Water is said to have “dipole”, di– meaning two; two poles.  The earth has two poles: the north and south poles.  Similarly, a water molecule has two poles: (+) and (-).

Water is chaotic and random when a faucet is turned on. But when the negatively charged balloon comes close to a steady stream of water it attracts the water’s positively (+) charged poles and the water bends.

Illustration of a stream of H2O before it gets near a charged balloon.
Illustration of how water molecules align themselves in the presence of a charged balloon and how that causes water bending.

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