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I get shocked a lot. I heard from a friend the reason is because I shuffle my feet too much and cause static electricity. Why do I get shocked?

Dear Sandy:

Anything that takes up space and has weight (matter) is made up of atoms. Atoms are made of positive electrical charges, called protons, and negative electrical charges, called electrons. Protons and electrons are usually present in equal numbers.

Moving your shoes across wool or synthetic carpet rubs electrons off of your feet and onto the carpet. This leaves your body with extra protons. Metal objects like doorknobs loosely hold electrons. When your positively-charged hand comes close enough to the metal, the negatively-charged electrons will leap across the air. You feel pain as the energy travels along your skin.
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Title Annotation:Ask Doctor Cory
Author:SerVaas, Cory
Publication:Children's Digest
Date:Oct 1, 1998
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