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Name: Jake
Status: student
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I was wondering if "static electricity" produces magnetism? I personally do not think it does because only a moving electric current can cause a magnetic effect.

You are correct.

Richard Barrans Jr., Ph.D., M.Ed.
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Wyoming

Jake- That is exactly right, while the static charge and high electric fields are not moving, they make no magnetic field.

Of course, when the static charge discharges in a spark, the magnetic field circling around the spark at that moment can be fairly intense. I think I have heard that a spark from a human-body charged to 10kv has a peak current between 10 and 100 picoamps, and it all passes down a spark channel well under 1mm wide.

And if a static-charged ping-pong ball is swung in circles (dangling on an insulating string), it does make some very weak magnetic field, because then it is moving.

Jim Swenson

You are correct, only a moving electric current creates a magnetic field.

Some people call the spark they get on a dry day "static electricity" That spark is the flow of current between two voltage potential differences (like your finger and a door knob) So that current will generate a magnetic field.

A static electric field itself will not generate a magnetic field until a current flows to neutralizes the charges at the ends of the electric field.

Keep curious Jake.

Sincere regards,

Mike Stewart

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