Electricity and Magnetism

Electric Dill

Enrichment Activity for 5-11

What you need

  • A saucer
  • Vegetable oil
  • Dried dill
  • Balloon


  1. Pour the vegetable oil into the saucer so it’s about 0.5 cm deep and sprinkle the dill liberally over it
  2. Rub the inflated balloon against your hair or jumper and bring it close to the dill

Results and Explanation

The dill will follow the balloon as you move it about. Some might even leap up to meet the balloon!

Rubbing the balloon makes it negatively charged and this induces a positive charge in the dill. The attraction between the balloon and dill can be large enough to overcome gravity. 

can be determined for a Positron Muon Tau W Boson Z Boson Proton Quark
can be determined for an Electron Antitau Antimuon Antiquark
is used in analyses relating to Ionisation
IOP DOMAINS Physics CPD programme

Electricity CPD videos

Our new set of videos gives teachers and coaches of physics a preview of the training we offer ahead of this term's live support sessions.

Find out more