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ESD Anti Static - History

As long ago as around 600 B.C., Thales of Milet was the first one to describe the phenomenon
of electrostatic discharge. It was observed at the time that ash particles, feathers and straw would cling to amber jewelry.
Tales ascribed this physical effect to be one of the attributes of amber. The Greek word for
amber is electrinos, coining the term in modern-day science.

The phenomenon of electrostatic discharge is well known to everyone these days.

Examples from every day life:

• After walking across carpeted areas, you may get an electric shock from a metal door handle.

• Combing or brushing may charge your hair with static .

• During thunderstorms, the high velocity of shifting air masses at different temperatures, in   combination with ice crystals contained in the thunder clouds generate an electrostatic   discharge. The lightning bolt sparked by this physical process releases the electric charge.

Triboelectric Discharge

Unfortunately, the young lady did not leave us her phone number either.

Background Information:
Electrostatic discharge results from surface friction (triboelectic). In the process, electrons
are discharged from one surface (positive charge) and attracted by the other surface
(negative charge).

Generally, any material can be charged electrostatically, incl. water. The degree of electrostatic discharge depends on the following factors :

• Type of material
• Degree of contact friction
• Humidity
• Separation of objects

The term antistatic was derived from the ancient Greek terms anti (against) and static (the art of balancing). Generally speaking, it defines the attribute of an object not to acquire a charge through friction.

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