Why do some materials make you prone to static shocks?

Question from Jelka van Hoek

Static electricity forms when materials rub together and either gain or lose negatively charged electrons, causing a negative or positive charge to build up (respectively), which can cause a shock when discharged.

Some materials lose or gain electrons more easily than others, and wearing these makes you prone to static shocks.


Answered by Tom Lean for Brain Dump in How It Works issue 116.

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