What’s the Difference Between Static Electricity and ‘Regular’ Electricity?

Electrical, Meteorology
[caption id="attachment_26762" align="alignright" width="480"] A thunderstorm - Image by Felix Mittermeier[/caption]Is static electricity different from regular electricity, or is there simply something different about how it is formed and how it behaves? What, for that matter, is electricity? Obviously it involves electrons. Electricity, Your Ordinary Household Variety A household circuit is just that. It's a circuit - a kind of conductive circle that allows electrons to flow through a device that uses some of them to function. Flow is the key. Flow is the word. Consider a water hose. When you turn the water on, does it trickle out or burst out? The amperage, like the water in the hose, represents the amount of electrons. The voltage is comparable to the pressure of the flow. Finally, flow suggests dynamic energy,…
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What Makes Ice Slippery Compared to Other Solids? A Combination of Factors?

Chemistry, Physics
[caption id="attachment_17673" align="alignleft" width="380"] Image: Tvb hof - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0[/caption] “Be careful if you will be driving this evening,” the weather forecaster declares. “The road will be a sheet of ice.” Whether tar and gravel, asphalt, or concrete, roads most of the year are not slippery. Yet come winter, those roads can be dangerously slippery. What makes ice and icy roads so slippery? What Makes Ice Slippery One line of thinking is that ice is slippery because water (H₂O) expands as it freezes. When a heavy object rests upon a sheet of ice, the pressure imparts energy to the molecules immediately beneath the weight, pressing them down, melting it. The water acts much like a lubricant, making the ice slippery. In truth, if the ice is reasonably…
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What is the Difference between Motor Oil and Grease?

Technology, Transportation
[caption id="attachment_15935" align="alignright" width="440"] Silhouette of working oil pumps on sunset background.[/caption] Lubricants are slippery substances that coat mechanical parts having tight tolerances so they can slide against each other with minimal friction. This is very important, since friction heats up the component parts, which lowers their lifetime. Sometimes oil may used to achieve satisfactory results. Sometimes grease is necessary. What is the difference between motor oil and grease? Oil Composition Refined oil is derived, as one would expect, from crude oil. Its composition varies due to the source of the crude as well as the processing needed to create the finished product. Oils are viscous, non-polar organic substances of biotic and/or abiotic origin. They do not readily adhere to other surfaces. That being the case, they afford a high…
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