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Strange phenomenon btwn pipette tips and gloves


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5 replies to this topic

#1 hianghao

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 02:07 AM

Well, perhaps this is not general biology, but its interesting and i wonder anyone else observed this:

Every time i fill in my pipette tip box (10 ul tips), i found that the tips are somehow "attracted" by my latex gloves (which i wear on hands). It looks like my gloves serve as a weak magnet and the tips as iron. When my glove comes close (but not touch) to the tips, they just sort of "stick to my glove", and move along as my hands move (without touching the tips). Has anyone encounter this? What phenomenon is this?

#2 K.B.

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 08:02 AM

ehm... http://en.wikipedia..../Electrostatics

#3 hianghao

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 04:43 AM

ehm... http://en.wikipedia..../Electrostatics

I suspected so but i didn't rub the gloves... Or gloves were charged by my hand?

#4 K.B.

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 05:10 AM

You don't have to intentionally rub your gloves to collect charge - your feet rub the floor while you walk, parts of your clothing rub each other and your body etc. Minuscule charge is enough to cause those effects.

I have observed similar thing while weighing delicate powders - I couldn't remove charge even if I touched grounded metal object. Only thing that helped was to remove gloves.

#5 hianghao

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 05:09 PM

You don't have to intentionally rub your gloves to collect charge - your feet rub the floor while you walk, parts of your clothing rub each other and your body etc. Minuscule charge is enough to cause those effects.

I have observed similar thing while weighing delicate powders - I couldn't remove charge even if I touched grounded metal object. Only thing that helped was to remove gloves.


I understand that i don't have to rub the gloves intentionally and i also realised that removing the gloves will cancel this effect. I was just wondering whether the charges collect on my hands or gloves. If its on my hand, why there no effect when i touch the pipette with bare hand? IF its on the gloves, are the gloves charged at the moment i wear it?

#6 bob1

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 02:17 PM

I think you will find that the gloves create what is known as a dielectric - where the gloves act as a small insulator between the body and the tips, allowing polarisation of the charge between the two. If you don't wear the gloves then the charges can be cancelled by the direct interaction between you and the tip.




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