QS Study

The substances which acquire charges on rubbing are said to be ‘electrified’ or charged. These terms are derived from the Greek word elektron, meaning amber. The electricity produced by friction is called frictional electricity. If the charges in a body do not move, then, the frictional electricity is also known as Static Electricity. Charging a rod by rubbing does not create electricity, but simply transfers or redistributes the charges in a material.

In 600 before Christ, Thales, a Greek Philosopher observed that, when a piece of amber is rubbed with fur, it acquires the property of attracting light objects like bits of paper. In the 17th century, William Gilbert discovered that, glass, ebonite etc, also exhibit this property, when rubbed with suitable materials.