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Physics/DON'T TOUCH ME

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Question
(This is not a spam or a homework question)
I was wondering would you please tell me: is it a fact if someone rubs their feet on carpet and then they touch something else, that person can get an electric shock?

If it is a fact, would you please explain to me in a easy way that I can understand: how can that happen?

Answer
Your shoes and carpet are made of different substances, which have different molecular structures and grab onto electrons with different strengths. One will collect more electrons. If your body collects more or fewer electrons, it will acquire an electric charge. That buildup of charge is similar to what happens in thunderclouds, just smaller. Therefore, someone who scrapes their shoes/socks across the carpet can zap you with little lightning bolts.

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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson

Expertise

I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.

Experience

I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Education/Credentials
Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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