Boy genius Anson Wong showed us how to make a soda can move without even touching it, as if by magic. But this budding scientist knows that even the most seemingly impossible magic tricks can be explained with science.
Though electrons are so tiny, they’re invisible to even to some of the most powerful microscopes, and their forces are strong enough to move some pretty big objects.
In this experiment, Anson and his producer, Jessica, showed us how to move a soda can with static electricity. And all you need for this experiment is two things that you probably already have at home.
What you need
An empty soda can
What to do
Place the can on a smooth, flat surface like a table or the floor
Rub the balloon on your hair
Without touching the can, hold the balloon close to it. Soon, the can will begin to roll
How it works
So how can the balloon move the can without even touching it?
When you rubbed the balloon on your hair, you generated static electricity. Some electrons from the atoms in your hair were transferred to the surface of the balloon, causing it to become staticky, or negatively charged. Then, when you held it close to the can, those tiny electrons were powerful enough to pull positively charged protons towards it. When the can moves, it’s because of the force exerted between the electrons and the protons.
Anson’s Answers features 5-year-old whiz kid Anson Wong. He has a college-level grasp on various areas of science, dreams of becoming the president and can speak multiple languages. Did you catch that he’s just 5 years old? Anson has a passion for teaching others and loves to share videos explaining the human body, the laws of physics and his ideas for the future. Grab a seat, because Professor Anson’s class is in session!