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Triboelectrification of houseflies (Musca domestica L.) walking on synthetic dielectric surfaces

McGonigle, D.F., Jackson, C.W. and Davidson, J (2002) Triboelectrification of houseflies (Musca domestica L.) walking on synthetic dielectric surfaces Journal of Electrostatics, 54, (2), pp. 167-177. (doi:10.1016/S0304-3886(01)00177-2).

Record type: Article


Houseflies (Musca domestica L.) have been found to accumulate significant electrostatic charges when walking on uncharged dielectric surfaces. The number of steps taken was found to determine the amount of charge transferred whereas time, on its own, did not play a significant role. After walking only a short distance, typically 30cm, flies reached saturation charge. The level of this varied according to the position of the surface in the triboelectric series relative to the fly. The rate of charging (pC/footstep) was directly proportional to the difference between the fly's charge and its saturation charge, hence the initial rate of charging for an uncharged fly was directly proportional to the saturation charge. A model has been fitted to the relationship between distance travelled (and hence the number of steps taken) with charge. The reciprocal charge left on the surface has been visualised using photocopier toner. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

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Submitted date: 30 March 2001
Published date: February 2002
Keywords: Triboelectrification, Faraday pail, House fly, Insect charging, Bioelectrostatic


Local EPrints ID: 26695
ISSN: 0304-3886
PURE UUID: 6813f996-9105-4120-b134-f5828bc62751

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Date deposited: 10 Apr 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 16:06

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Author: D.F. McGonigle
Author: C.W. Jackson
Author: J Davidson

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