Atomic Physics with Sticky Tape

Atomic Tape Physics 101 – Atomic Physics with Sticky Tape

This article about atomically charged tape was published on ScienceBlogs.com and is credited to the incredibly cool Chad Orzel, an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Union College in Schenectady, NY.  In this nifty atomic tape experiment, Chad demonstrates how atomically charged tape attracts each other.  So seriously, we love anything tape related so we had to share this with you!  Ok Chad, rock on with your cool Atomic Tape article!  Here goes, as appeared on ScienceBlogs.com  . . . .

atomic_charged_tape

In addition to making a toy model to show the tipping-point behavior of charged pieces of sticky tape, I spent some time on Tuesday trying to do something quantitative with this. Of course, Tuesday is the one day of the week that I don’t teach, and I didn’t want to go to campus to do the experiment, so I put it together from the incredibly sophisticated materials I had available at home: Lego bricks and a tape measure belonging to SteelyKid and The Pip.

Having built this high-tech rig, I set up my new video camera on the tripod, and shot some videos of the key phenomena. First, there’s the attraction between two tapes with opposite charges:


In this, you can see the tipping point thing I mentioned– as I push them closer together, there’s an extremely narrow range where the electrostatic attraction pulls the tapes together by a perceptible amount without them flying up and sticking to each other. Once I managed to find that range, I used it to demonstrate the effect that set this whole thing off, namely that when you stick another object in between the tapes, the net electrostatic force on each increases.

I wanted video of this because I used it as a discussion question when talking about the polarization of matter in response to electric fields. The seemingly intuitive answer is to say that the force should decrease because it’s partially “blocked” in some sense, but that’s not how electromagnetism works. The electric field from a charge is not directly impeded by any intervening matter– the net field can change because of new sources of fields, but the original charge still contributes exactly the same field and thus force.

So why the change? Because you can think of neutral matter as being made up of atoms with an electron cloud outside a positive nucleus. In an electric field, these polarize, and become little dipoles aligned with the local field. If the tap on the left is positively charged, the electrons in a piece of paper stuck between the tapes will shift a little to the left. When they do that, the paper is no longer perfectly inert from the perspective of the tapes, but produces its own field.

The effect of that field is to attract both of the tapes. The electrons have shifted left by a tiny amount, exerting an attractive force on the positive tape on the left, while the positive nuclei don’t move at all, and end up a bit more to the right, where they exert an attractive force on the negative tape on the right.

My original hope with this was to see if there is a measurable difference between an insulator like paper and a conductor like aluminum foil. Unfortunately, as you can see, both of them just increase the attractive force to the point where the tapes cross the tipping point, and get sucked onto the paper or foil. There isn’t much difference between them.

The same effect, though, happens between charged and neutral tapes, so I repeated this with one charged tape and one neutral:

The tape on the left has a charge on it, which makes it attracted to my hand, while the tape on the right is uncharged, and not attracted to my hand. When I bring the two tapes close together, though, you get the same tipping point effect– they twitch a little, then get sucked together. The distance involved is much smaller, though– cranking these into Tracker Video, I estimated about a factor of 4 difference (roughly 3cm between the support points for only one charged, and about 12cm for both charged). So, what can we get from that?

Well, the equations giving the forces are pretty straightforward. In the case where both tapes are charged, we just have a Coulomb’s Law sort of thing:

F_{both} = \frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0} \frac{q^2}{r^2}

(where I’ve assumed that the two tapes have the same magnitude of charge, q but opposite signs– this is a pretty good assumption, as the charging process involves quickly separating a neutral pair of tapes, so whatever charge one picks up had to come from the other). If only one tape is charged, the force comes from the polarization of the neutral tape, which is generally expressed in terms of a “polarizability,” which gets the symbol \alpha , because physicists are lazy and don’t want to go any farther into the Greek alphabet than they have to. The force between a charge and a polarizable object is something we derive in class, and is given by the formula:

F_{one} = (\frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0})^2 2 \alpha \frac{q^2}{r^5}

This depends on the fifth power of r, so it’s a much shorter range force than the case where both tapes are charged– if you double the distance, the force between charged tapes drops by a factor of 4, but the force between one charged and one neutral tape drops by a factor of 32. So the qualitative behavior in the videos above is exactly right.

Can we get something quantitative out of this, though? Well, if we make some simplifying assumptions, sure. And this is physics– we’re all about simplifying assumptions…

The main assumptions to make are 1) that the charges involved have the same magnitude in both cases, and 2) that the force at the “tipping point” is the same in both cases. I think these are both fairly reasonable– the charging process is the same in both cases, so the q should be pretty similar, and the range of the effect is small enough that I think it’s not completely ridiculous to say that the force needed to start the tape moving by enough to get tipping point behavior is the same in both cases.

If we do that, then we can just set the two forces above equal to each other, with two different values of r:

\frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0} \frac{q^2}{r_{both}^2} = (\frac{1}{4 \pi \epsilon_0})^2 2 \alpha \frac{q^2}{r_{one}^5}

The q is the same on both sides, so we don’t need to worry about those. which means the only thing in this that we haven’t measured is \alpha , the polarizability of the tape. So, we can solve for that, and get:

\alpha = \frac{1}{2} 4 \pi \epsilon_0 \frac{r_{one}^5}{r_{both}^2}

Using the fact that the tipping point for the case where both tapes were charged was about 12cm and the tipping point for the case with only one charged was 3cm, we get a value of:

\alpha = 9.4 \times 10^{-17}  C-m/(N/C)

Which, um, yeah. That’s a number all right. Is it a reasonable number? Well…

We’re saved, though, by the fact that the textbook makes several references to the polarizability of a single carbon atom, which is about \alpha = 2 \times 10^{-40}  C-m/(N/C). That might actually seem disastrously wrong– we’re 20-odd orders of magnitude off– but that’s the value for a single atom. A piece of tape is made up of quite a few atoms, and that would scale the effective polarizability of the tape up by roughly that number.

So, how many atoms in a piece of tape? I didn’t measure these specifically, lacking a milligram scale in Chateau Steelypips, but as part of the lab we did last week, the students measured the tapes they were using, and a fairly typical mass is something like 300 milligrams. If I assume the entire thing is carbon atoms, that would be around 1.5 \times 10^{22}  atoms, each with a polarizability of \alpha = 6.4 \times 10^{-39}  C-m/(N/C).

“You’re still wrong by a factor of 32,” you say. And that’s true. But, dude, look at how many crude assumptions went into this measurement– you only need five factor-of-two errors to account for a factor of 32, and I’ve got at least three assumptions (the identical charge in the two different experiments, the identical force at the tipping point, and the mass-to-number-of-atoms process) that aren’t any better than that. I’d say this does remarkably well.

So, it turns out you can measure fundamental atomic properties using Duplo blocks and sticky tape. I think that’s pretty awesome. If you don’t, why are you reading this blog, anyway?

ORIGINAL SOURCE FOR THIS AWESOME ATOMIC TAPE ARTICLE:  http://scienceblogs.com/principles/2014/01/17/atomic-physics-with-sticky-tape/

Thanks to Chad for keeping science AND tape cool!

Atomic Tape Holder

Atomic Tape Holder – Beautiful design by Nikolina Barberic!

The shape was inspired by construction of a water molecule, which was the main idea of a new product look. This brings about the need to provide new and attractive design for well known existing product. The idea was to provide best product ability to serve the purpose with brand new look. I believe this presents right balance of design and performance.

The Atomic tape holder is made of three separated spheres, of which the smallest one can be removed, so the tape can be released. It attempts to set the highest standards in terms of a esthetics as well as quality. It is patterned for production out of aluminium. It can be used in branding purpose as well for some water producing companies.

AtomicTapeHolder1
AtomicTapeHolder2
AtomicTapeHolder3
SEE ORIGINAL POST HERE:

http://www.behance.net/gallery/Atomic-Tape-Holder/6152055

Atomic Tape Tee Shirt

Atomic Tape Tee Shirt – White

AtomicTapeTshirt

 

What else would you expect on the Atomic Tape . com website, but the official Atomic Tape T-Shirt!  Empyre guy’s short sleeved tee shirt here with his custom graphics on the front of the shirt.  The artwork features a cassette tape which is unraveling into a tree, cleverly deemed as the Atomic Tape tee shirt.

Order the ATOMIC TAPE t-shirt here:

http://www.zumiez.com/empyre-atomic-tape-white-tee-shirt.html

Atomic Submarine Tape

 

Atomic Submarine on VHS Tape

atomic_submarine_tape

How funny is this?  Atomic Tape .com wouldn’t be complete without an atomic submarine, right?  In the crazy future, giant atomic submarine liners ferry lots of passengers and freight under the Arctic ice.   But 8 of them mysteriously vanish without any trace. The U.S.S. Tiger Shark, which happens to be the most powerful atomic nuclear submarine in the submarine fleet, is then sent to do research and then uncovers aliens that threatens to destroy the human race.   This 1959 small budget sci-fi movie on tape focuses on “atomic power” as both a menace and also a protector of human kind.   These filmmakers demonstrate what one can do with a good script, a strong cast of quality actors and good imagination.   Producer Alex Gordon cowrote Ed Wood’s Bride of the Monster, special effects supervisor Irving Block cowrote the classic Forbidden Planet, and composer Alexander Laszlo was a regular on Roger Corman pictures. Includes the original theatrical trailer. –Geof Miller

Atomic Submarine Tape Summary:

The nuclear-powered U.S.S. Tiger Shark, the most advanced sub in the world, is sent on a top secret mission to find out why great trans-arctic submarine passenger lines are vanishing without a trace. On board, a hand-picked team of scientists are faced with an alien menace so terrible that their atomic weapons are useless.
On VHS Tape, Atomic Submarine Tape is available on Amazon:

Silicone Tape

Looking for Silicone Tape?

Here at Atomic Tape .com, you can find all sorts of information about tape.  Check out all the silicone tape resources available on the internet:

Silicone Tape Information:
www.silicone-tape.com

Tommy Tape brand of silicone tape:
www.tommytape.com

Rescue Tape Silicone Tape:
www.rescuetape.com

X-Treme Tape silicone tape Made in China:
www.x-tremetape.com

Silicone Fixit Tape:
www.siliconefixittape.com

silice-tape-rescue-tape

Silicone Tape is suitable for a wide range of repairs. From boats to cars to home plumbing repairs, silicone tape is ideal for a fast repair on many kinds of leaks. Stretching and wrapping silicone tape around a leaking pipe or hose can seal the leak in minutes. Silicone Tape can also be used for creating a wire connection seal to prevent moisture from getting into the wire connection.  There are many levels of quality in the self-fusing types of silicone tape, so don’t be fooled into thinking they are all the same.  Read the reviews of these products and be skeptical of those tapes that don’t have a history of positive performance reviews.  For example, read the silicone tape reviews available on Amazon.com.  Silicone Tape can be a life saver product when you have a plumbing leak or automotive hose leak, as it can turn your emergency situation into just another day at the park.  Check out the silicone tape resources listed here on Atomic Tape .com and find the quality that make sense for your repair needs.

You can also choose from a wide variety of silicone tapes on Amazon:

What else can you do with Silicone Tape?

Silicone Tape is ideal for:

  • Marine Repairs – Wrap silicone tape around stuff that leaks on your boat or use like rigging tape.
  • Plumbing Repairs – Several layers of silicone tape will seal up leaky plumbing in your home.
  • Automotive Repairs – Silicone Tape can easily fix a radiator hose or leaking heater hose or vacuum hose.
  • Offroad Repairs – Silicone Tape can fix all sorts of things on a jeep or other offroad vehicle
  • Manufacturing repairs – Silicone Tape can keep machinery running by fixing leaks on a wide variety of manufacturing equipment.

Atomic Yellow Tape

AtomicTapeYellow

 

Atomic Tape by Duck brand Duck Tape!

This Atomic Yellow Tape is part of Henkel’s new X-Factor series of high performance tapes.  With a thicker poly layer and more agressive adhesion, this atomic yellow tape will make repairs fast and stick on longer.   Strength is also superior with a thicker cloth and more fibers per square inch.  This new atomic tape yellow duck tape tears easy by hand for easy use.

Atomic Tape Duck Tape is a professional-grade tape that features excellent adhesion to a wide variety of surfaces like cloth, leather, plastic, vinyl,  all metals, and laminates.

5.0 out of 5 stars best and cheapest duct tape out there June 14, 2013

Tape Review By Alvin Ray:

Amazon Verified Purchase

This is the cheapest and most durable duct tape in the market. I’ve tried other cheaper brands but they are not as durable. I use this to wrap big heavy boxes and packages. Aside from being durable, it’s also water-repellent.   And it comes in a variety of colors for different uses and purposes.

 

Buy Atomic Tape Yellow Tape now on Amazon.com:

Size:  1.88″ Wide x 20 Yards
Color:  Atomic Yellow
Brand:  Duck Tape

Not the kind of atomic tape you were looking for?  If you are looking for a silicone tape try here: http://www.atomictape.com/silicone-tape.htm

Here at Atomic Tape . com we love to show you all the cool things you can do with tape.   Uniquely colored tapes such as the Atomic Yellow Duct Tape allow you to be very creative with your tape applications.  Check out this video of how to make an Atomic Yellow Duct Tape Wallet:

Atomic Tape Fact Sheet

Atomic Tape Fact Sheet!

This page is about the hit single Atomic Tape by Chris Joss!

AtomicTape

Atomic Tape is from the album Teraphonic Overdubs, this atomic explosion of beats will help you get your dub on.    Released February 12, 2008, this tape is 46 minutes of atomic beats.  Chris Joss is a French multi-instrumentalist who has released 7 solo albums.  According to Allmusic.com, “Chris Joss constructs funky downtempo music that’s heavily influenced by the film music of Lalo Schifrin, John Barry, and Quincy Jones.  Joss made his debut in 1996 with The Man With a Suitcase.”

Here is the track list from Teraphonic Overdubs including the famous Atomic Tape hit:

1:  Magic Tubes
2:  I Want Freedom
3:  Count the Daisies
4:  Get With It
5:  Jungle Dolls
6:  Fatality Strikes
7:  Atomic Tape
8:  Slack The Slammer
9:  Summer Springs
10:  Luna Rides Back
11:  A Room with a Vu Meter
12:  Surgelator Action
13:  Granted

Download the hit single Atomic Tape here on Amazon:

Not the Atomic Tape you were looking for?   Looking for self-fusing silicone tape  or tape for emergency hose repair Click here for silicone tape info or check out the Yellow Atomic Tape by Duct Tape.

Looking for other albums by Chris Joss?  Here is the Chris Joss Discography list:

Chris Joss Discography:

1999: Bombay By Bus EP – Pulp Flavor

1999: The Man With A Suitcase LP- Pulp Flavor

2002: Dr Rhythm LP- Irma La Douce

2003: The Gnomes EP – Irma La Douce

2004: You’ve Been Spiked LP – ESL Music

2005: Discotheque Dancing EP (Ursula1000 and Fort Knox Five remixes) – ESL Music

2005: A Part In That Show EP (Kraak & Smaak remix) – ESL Music

2005: Inside Deep Throat Soundtrack LP – Koch

2006: Brilliantine a gogo – Boutique Chic EP – Stereo Fiction

2007: Superman EP (Basement Freaks & Plastilina Mosh remixes) – ESL Music

2008: Teraphonic Overdubs LP – ESL Music

Atomic Tape by FOT

Atomic_tape_by_FoTAtomic Tape by FOT

This Atomic Tape is AWESOME!  Published at http://fot.deviantart.com/art/Atomic-tape-39307627 by member “FOT” this simple 2 color stencil cleverly turns this wall into some pretty cool deviant artwork.  Just when you thought your cassette tape collection was dead, this cool spray art brings the atomic tape to life.   What a great way to repair a beat up old wall and give it that retro look with style.  Overall, we think your atomic tape is “FOT-ing” cool!