Various hobbyists and electronic engineers declare that static electricity is VERY bad for electronics and electronic components. The majority of the public falls into conformity, obeying the rules set up by various people.
Why don't we put the theory to the test?
Obviously, for this experiment, a woolen jacket and a pie plate shall not suffice, so I present to you....
THE ELECTROSTATIC GENERATOR!
Let us not digress.
Step 1: Zap Science
In simple words, static electricity is the imbalance of charges.
The main component affected by these devious charges are semiconductors. This is because they incorporate various delicate components, and when a negative charge is discharged onto it by virtue of static, it causes failures, as there is no conductor that can dissipate, hence causing damage.
Semiconductors, include diodes, microchips, transistors, etc.
On the other hand, some of the more not-so sensitive electronics like washing machines (Which have a bulk of other components which are not easily affected) do not succumb easily.
Static electricity, causes damage to sensitive electronic components, so if one brings it near electronics, there will be failure.
Let us put that to the test.
Step 2: The Equipment
Okay, I have decided to keep the electronics simple.
Sometime ago, I had fallen across this handy gadget, and it packs quite a punch.
Find it here: Negative Ion Generator. It prefers a 12 Volt input, but I used a mere 9 volts. It gives an output of 20 kV for a 12 Volt battery, and an output of 15 kV for a 9 Volt.
I created a switch and a battery harness, and the Generator was good to go.
I also needed something which I could destroy, and would have sensitive components.
Since I had an old digital watch lying around, I decided to proceed with it. The best part of this is, that I could use my old electronic detritus for something.
Step 3: Testing....
The basic guidelines I followed are to stay away from sensitive electronic equipment, as it can get damaged.
It would also be best if you release static electricity on the point closest to the innards.
After I connected a 9 Volt battery to the adapter I built for the generator, I was all set to go.
First I connected the negative wire to the part of the watch where electronics are in proximity.
The negative wire is the one that attracts electrons, and vice versa.
Disappointingly, nothing relevant conspired, as there were few electrons to be propagated, but at certain times the time changed.
On the other hand, the positive wire sent out electrons, which caused pertinent damage, as the electrons disturb the components inside, making them partially useless.
As exciting as this was, when I connected BOTH the negative and the positive wire, the results were magnified and more lively.
I presume this occurs due to the fact that whence the electrons are disposed by the positive wire, they are pulled back in by the negative wire, and so the cycle continues. Also, in this cycle, more electrons are in motion, hence sparks also appear.
The results are given in more detail in the next step.
I decided that this is something to be presented in the video-graphic form, and so it is.
Step 4: Les Recordings
Wait, what actually happened? Did the watch blow up? Did the battery run out? Negative.
The results were varied, and quite esoteric.
1.) The watch kept resetting to one o'clock.
2.) The luminous intensity of the screen became nigh non-existent.
3.) The lights went on.
4.) An assorted set of beeps were heard.
5.) The Date, Day also changed.
6.) Half the screen flickers out at times.
7.) Other miscellaneous changes such as mode changes, and alarm setting changes.
The Video shows only a few of these, as controlling it is beyond my comprehension. Also I would bet my money on the fact that the lights showed up, but were not visible in this lighting.
As I said before, the results were accelerated and magnified when BOTH the positive and negative wire were connected. Gradually, the apparatus looses resistance, and is affected more heavily, I noted, and it is also dependant on the humidity.
So, yes, I have proved that static electricity is bad for electronics. (Most of you probably never doubted it anyway)
Anybody fancy sabotage
Step 5: The End
Next, I decided to test whether a washing machine would be affected by static, and in simple words, the answer in NO.
To conclude, semiconductors, diodes, etc. are affected by static as they are Electro-sensitive devices in the make, and hence during any electronic project, one must ensure a lack of static. These problems are caused due to the travel of electrons, that affect the tiny conductive, and electromagnetic components.
Pity it took me a watch to learn that.
Nonetheless, vote if you liked my Instructable.
Also, take a look at my other instructable - Plotly with Python.