Difference Between Static or Current Electricity

Static or Current Electricity

There are two types of electricity that flow in electrical devices. One is static electricity and the other is the current electricity. In working with the electronics field, the current electricity will be much more common but it is important to understand the static electricity as well.

Static Electricity

Static electricity exists when their opposite charges build upon objects and these charges are separated by an insulator. Static electricity exists until the two groups of opposite charges can find a path that makes a connection between each other to balance the system out.

Static or Current Electricity

When the charges do find a path of equalizing, static electricity occurs.

The attraction of the charges becomes so stronger than they can flow even through the insulators e.g air, glass, plastic, rubber, etc.

Static discharges are harmful and depending on and what surfaces the charges are transferring and to what medium the charges travel through.

The charges that equalizing through an air gap can result in a visible shock as the traveling electrons collide with the electrons that present in the air, through which they become excited. By excitation, they release the energy in the form of light.

static discharge is lightning.

One of the most common examples of static discharge is lightning.

When a cloud system comes close enough that the charge of this group interacts with another group of clouds or the earth’s ground. By which the charges will try to equalize. As the cloud discharges or the charges start flowing, massive quantities of positive or sometimes negative charges that run through the air from ground to cloud causing the visible effect we’re all familiar with.

Static electricity also exists when we rub the balloons on our head to make our hair stand up, or when we shuffle on the floor with fuzzy slippers. In each case, through friction forces from rubbing different types of materials that transfer electrons.

The object that losing the electrons becomes positively charged. While the object that gaining the electrons becomes negatively charged. The two objects become attracted to each other until the charges can find a way to equalize.

During working with electronics, we don’t have to deal with static electricity. We are usually trying to protect our sensitive electronic components from being interacted with static discharge.

Current Electricity

It is the form of electricity which makes our entire electronic device possible for working. This form of electricity only exists when charges are able to flow constantly.

As opposite to static electricity where charges remain at rest, current electricity is dynamic, charges are always moving. We will be focusing on this form of electricity throughout the rest of the tutorial.


Current electricity requires a closed circuit in order to flow. A sample circuit could be as simple as a conductive wire connected end-to-end, but useful circuits usually contain a mixture of wires and other components also connected which control the flow of electricity. There is only one rule when it comes to making circuits is they can not have any insulating gaps in the circuit.

If you have a wire that is full of copper atoms and want to induce a flow of electrons through it, all the free electrons need somewhere to flow in the same direction.

Copper is a great conductor and perfect for the flow of charges. If a circuit of copper wire is broken so the charges can not flow through the air, which will also prevent any of the charges toward the middle from going anywhere.

On the other hand, if the wire is connected end-to-end, the electrons all have a neighboring atom and can all flow in the same direction.


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