Bending Water Experiment

With the help of static electricity, it's a cinch to bend a stream of water!

  1. Ages: 3 - 8

  2. <30 minutes

  3. A little messy

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    You may have heard the expression ,"Opposites attract." With this simple experiment, we were able to see that happen in a very interesting way! We were reminded that combing your hair--or your brother's hair!--charges the comb with negatively charged electrons.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    We turned our tap on very low, to produce a thin stream of water. We put a ruler in the bottom of the sink to show where it falls in a straight line--right on the '6'.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    Trev had freshly shampooed hair, so he was our test subject. Again, and again, and again, and again! (We did this experiment lots of times!) Comb, comb, comb.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    After combing the hair, we moved the comb to the sink... as soon as we got about six inches away from the stream, the water started bending! When we had it up high--about three inches below the faucet--the water sometimes jumped all the way over to the 9" mark! Back and forth we waved the comb... again and again. Wow!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Done!

    The positive force of the water is attracted to the negative electrons on the comb so strongly that it affects the direction the water is flowing. We watched it arch all the way down to the bottom of the sink! How far can YOU bend water?!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

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