Why Does Static Smell?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by SamIchi, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    #1
    Anyone?

    I hate static on my clothes, very uncomfortable. It also has a wierd smell that I don't like either.
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    trainguy77

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #2
    It smells?
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    #3
    Ya know, when you pull off your sweater really quick, there's this scent.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    stonyc

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Location:
    Michigan
    #4
    No idea... ozone? Maybe your sweaters are dirty or just stinky? :D
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 68030

    SamIchi

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    #5
    Are you questioning my cleanliness? It's not a dirty smell nor stinky. Comb you hair a few times then smell it, or rub a balloon on a sweater or hair and take a whiff. You'll see what I'm talkin bout.
     
  6. macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #6
    Simple. The positively charged ions attract the ozone in the upper troposphere which, on their way down, bind with the heavier CFC's that people spew out of their spray deodorant cans. Once they reach sea level the ozone is completely broken down into two highly unstable parts. The negatively charged half binds with the statically charged item and the positive side is attracted to latex paint, particularly mint green, and breaks down further into protons and electrons that proceed to do absolutely nothing because I have know idea what I'm talking about.
     
  7. macrumors 68000

    cycocelica

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    #7
    I have never smelt static. I am guessing there is no sweet smell to it?
     
  8. macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #8
    High voltage converts O2 to O3 (ozone). In the higher levels of the atmosphere, Ozone is a handy molecule, acting to bounce a lot of the UV radiation from the sun back into space. At lower levels it acts as a dangerous pollutant present in car exhaust, around power stations etc. It's a greenhouse gas down here at ground level and one of the components of smog.

    The smell could simply be from what you use when you wash/dry your clothes. Try changing washing liquid/softeners. OR it could be ozone production from the high voltage in the static.

    I'm not a big boffin on electricity terms so "voltage" might be the wrong term but you know what I mean.
     
  9. macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Location:
    American Riviera
    #9
    You were pretty close, Chundles :)

    The oxygen is broken down by high electric fields. Electric fields are measured in voltage drop divided by distance, not just voltage. Higher fields drop a large voltage over a short distance, and vice versa.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #10
    Isnt static that stuff thats on the front of the TV screens two thats is like a bee when you move your hand across it?
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    rockthecasbah

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Moorestown, NJ
    #11
    static is fun to play with. Take velex blankets, run em all around, make the room completely dark, wiggle them apart, and watch the fireworks! (it gives a minor "static" scent for me..)

    Is this really how i must amuse myself :rolleyes:
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    cyberddot

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    in a forest
    #12
    I vote Ozone.

    BTW, ozone can also be used as a sterilizer, and is used to sterilize water, laundry, medical instruments, etc, etc. It's used to clean water that aquatic animals live in too, though for all of these applications it's metered out with special equipment.

    Your nose has just been sterilized.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland
    #13
    I smell the smell too. It is not a smell like an oh-I haven't washed my clothes in a week-smell or an oh-theres-that-burrito-i-had-for-lunch-smell, but there is a distinct static smell. Nothing to do with washing powder or anything, it just is. It probably is ozone, however i only have an 80% in chemistry so I really have no idea.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    AliensAreFuzzy

    Joined:
    May 30, 2004
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #14
    Yeah, definately ozone. Right now we're working on a tesla coil in my phyics class and after we run it for a minute, the entire place smells of ozone. It smells pretty good in moderation, but this just stinks.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    Bubbasteve

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Charleston, IL
    #15
    Man that was funny

    I know what you mean about the smell, but I dunno why it smells.
     
  16. macrumors 68040

    maya

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    somewhere between here and there.
    #16
    Maybe we should invest millions of dollars on researching this pointless mystery. :rolleyes:
     
  17. macrumors G4

    Chundles

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2005
    #17
    If you had an 80% in Chemistry down here you'd know what you were talking about. Bloody tough work to get 80% in any Uni/High School courses here. A passing mark is 50% which represents that you satisfy the requirements of the course and are untroubled by most questions.
     
  18. macrumors 6502

    Pittsax

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #18
    It's definitely ozone. It's the same thing that you smell sometimes after a strong lightning storm (for the same reasons too, since all lightning is is big-time static electricity)
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    mikemodena

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #19
    I know exactly what smell you mean.. it's almost a metallic smell
     
  20. macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Darkplace Hospital
    #20
    Ah, just take more showers.
     

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