Static Electricity - Mission SE4 Detailed Help

A positively charged Van de Graaff generator is touched by a daring student. A spark of lightning is seen as _______.

Definition of Grounding:
Grounding is the process of removing the excess charge on an object by the transfer of electrons between it and another object of substantial size (known as the ground). When a charged object is grounded, a balance of charge is established by the movement of electrons between the charged object and the ground. The process involves providing a connecting pathway between the charged object and the ground.

Many students have the misconception that an object that is positively charged can transfer its protons to the ground during the grounding process. But don't be fooled! Protons are indeed positively charged, but they are present in the nucleus of atoms and as such are tightly bound in that location. The grounding of objects always occurs by means of a movement of electrons - either off of a negatively charged object or onto a positively charged object. Protons never move.