Research: Why a Shower Is Bracing

To alert researchers, the ordinary bathroom has long been a fount of fascinating scientific knowledge. Archimedes divined the principle of buoyancy while dunking in his tub. Modern researchers have written learned treatises on the vortex formed by water draining from a sink. Now two physicists have found that a bathroom is the perfect place to study another phenomenon: how splashing water generates atmospheric electricity.

In 1892, German Physicist Philipp Lenard wrote a paper describing how the splashing of falling water charges the surrounding air with electricity. Recently, Welsh-born Physicist Edward Pierce decided to check out Lenard's...

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