Creating Lightning with Balloons

In: Science

Submitted By Lightfeet
Words 504
Pages 3
Physics experiment- creating lightning


We’ve got the assignment to try to create lightning, by charging two balloons using your hair. When both balloons are electrically charged, you slowly move them towards each other and you should be able to create a spark.

What would we have done differently?

We came up with a few ideas to test if you can create lightning with the use of two balloons in a different way. Firstly we would use different sizes of balloons, to see if this influences the experiment. We would also use different shapes of balloons and different thicknesses of balloons. Finally we would use different types of hair (thick, thin, short, long) to examine if this has any effect.

Research question

Is it possible to create a spark by holding two statically charged balloons against each other?


We think we will be able to see a spark, because the atoms in the balloon became ions (there is a difference in number between protons and electrons). We think that if we move the balloons slowly towards each other, the attraction of the protons in the positively charged balloon attract the electrons of the negatively charged balloon enough, to let them move from one balloon to the other and we will be able to see a spark.


The electrical charge in these balloons must be a lot smaller than in lighting, so the spark is a lot smaller too. Since we’re trying to recreate lighting on a small scale, we expect that there will be sound as well as a spark.


When the balloons were rubbed against our hair, they made our hair stand up. When the balloons were brought together, there wasn’t any spark visible. There was, however, a sort of “tick”, the sound a spark usually makes. When we used thicker balloons, we still did not see a spark, only a “tick”. The different types of hair did not change the results,…...

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