Bailey, A. G. Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Southampton, United Kingdom.
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Electric charge at rest, generally produced by friction or electrostatic induction. In the sixth century BC, Thales of Miletus, who is usually credited with the discovery of static electricity, described experiments in which rubbed amber induced movement in nearby particles. It was not until the eighteenth century, when Benjamin Franklin carried out his kite-flying experiments in which he “captured” some thunderstorm electricity in a Leyden jar, that it was verified that thunderstorm electricity and static electricity were one and the same. See also: Electric charge
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