In technology class on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, we studied electrons moving from one object to another creating static electricity. Mr. Calvert told us about the history of what people thought was, magic! It wasn’t until Thales of Miletus in 526 B.C. noticed that lodestone could attract iron. He was on to something.
The Greek people at that time thought that the lodestone had a soul. Crazy, right! Thales, however, though that there was some other explanation, but he could not explain. William Gilbert was the first to understand magnetism and suggested that the earth itself is a giant magnet. Galileo and Newton benefited from Gilbert’s work, and Newton was able to formulate his theory of gravitational force. Others then came up with the periodic table and electricity. Finally, we were able to figure out how atoms work and how they are made. Mr. Calvert gave us an activity which relates to what Thales saw. He made us rub wool on a metal rod. This makes the electrons travel which charges up the rod. Now that the rod is charged, if you hover it over small pieces of paper, it can make the pieces of a paper move. It is the same thing as rubbing a balloon on your hair and making it stand. Mr. Calvert also gave us an invention from William Gilbert, Queen Elizabeth I’s doctor. It was very similar to what we just did. If you charge up the rod in the same way and put it near the metal coil sticking out, the electrons will travel down the coil and go to the two pieces of aluminum foil. This will cause the two pieces of foil to go as far in the opposite direction as they can. The stronger the current, the farther away from each other the pieces of foil will go. This happens because electrons repel each other. This is what the traveling of electrons can do.