Physics Question #302

Liz Morice, a 16 year old female from the Internet asks on December 13, 1997,

What makes the aluminum powder in an Etch-A-Sketch stick to the glass to make an image?

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The answer

Barry Shell answered on December 13, 1997

The combination of the aluminum powder with a type of microscopic plastic beads (and probably some other secret ingredients) probably forms a mixture that develops an electrostatic charge that keeps it sticking to the glass -- much like when you rub a balloon on your hair and then stick it to the wall. To learn more about Etch-A-Sketch, check out the "Etchy" website.

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