Daily Archives: 9th June

Triboelectric envelope

The triboelectric effect (the prefix tribo- comes from the Greek τρίβω for “rubbing” or “friction”) results in the creation of a charge difference between two surfaces: one becomes positive and the other negative. The difference in charge is neutralised when a spark jumps between the two surfaces.

Opening “self-stick” envelopes quite often results in a noticeable triboelectric effect, as I discovered when opening this week’s copy of The Economist.