Just the other day a friend and I were walking through a local restaurant when I touched a door knob and got shocked by static electricity.
I turned to him and said,” Damn, I wish someone would explain that static electricity to me.” Being an engineer, he did: and here is his explanation – especially for non-engineering types .
Static electricity is an imbalance of electric charges within or on the surface of a material. The charge remains until it is able to move away by means of an electric current or electrical discharge.
For modeling the effect of static discharge on sensitive electronic devices, a human being is represented as a capacitor of 100 Pico farads, charged to a voltage of 4,000 to 35,000 volts. When the human touches an object, this energy is discharged in less than a microsecond:
Are you still having a little trouble understanding this? If so, the next photo may help.