Want to make your ghosts dance? Tape the tip of the ghosts’ tails to the top of the surface. Then, charge the balloon and bring it close to the ghosts. Upon approach, the ghosts will stand up. Put on some music and move the balloon to see your ghosts groove to the beat!
How does it work?
This magical effect occurs due to static electricity. When you rub the balloon on your head, the electrons (negatively charged subatomic particles) build up on the surface of the balloon. When you bring the negatively charged balloon surface close to the ghosts, the protons (positively charged subatomic particles) in the ghosts are attracted to it. Since the ghosts are light, the attraction is strong enough to overcome the force of gravity, making the ghosts float up to the balloon.
Did you know?
The iconic Van de Graaff electrostatic generator at the Ontario Science Centre uses the same static electricity principle to make your hair stand up. While standing on an insulator, the generator steals your electrons, leaving you and your hair positively charged. Since like charges repel each other, your strands of hair will repel from your head and each other making your hair stand up.