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If you are in AP physics, please complete this lab in your lab notebook! If you are not in AP Physics, please complete it on a separate piece of paper and place it in the manila folder.

This is a virtual lab based on a simulation developed by the Phet Interactive Simulations Group at the University of Colorado. The lab is embedded on this page and can also be accessed here.

Use the vocabulary below to describe what happens. You may or may not need to use all of the words.

Please answer questions without anthropomorphizing protons and electrons. That means giving them them human characteristics and emotions, such as saying "Protons and electrons want to be together."

  1. Rub the balloon against the sweater. What happens to the electrons? Draw a diagram illustrating what happens that includes moving electrons. Describe what happens using the vocabulary above.
  2. After rubbing the balloon against the sweater:
    • What is the charge of the balloon and why?
    • What is the charge of the sweater and why?
    • What happens to the balloon and the sweater?
  3. What happens when the charged balloon is moved near the wall? Draw a diagram illustrating what happens including the moving charges, and describe it using the vocabulary above.
  4. Why is the balloon attracted to the wall?
  5. Set the simulation to have two balloons. Can you get them to repel each other? How?