Static electricity

Static electricity refers to the build-up of electric charge
Electric charge
Electric charge is a physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when near other electrically charged matter. Electric charge comes in two types, called positive and negative. Two positively charged substances, or objects, experience a mutual repulsive force, as do two...

 on the surface of objects. The static charges remain on an object until they either bleed off to ground
Ground (electricity)
In electrical engineering, ground or earth may be the reference point in an electrical circuit from which other voltages are measured, or a common return path for electric current, or a direct physical connection to the Earth....

 or are quickly neutralized by a discharge. Static electricity can be contrasted with current (or dynamic) electricity
Electric current
Electric current is a flow of electric charge through a medium.This charge is typically carried by moving electrons in a conductor such as wire...

, which can be delivered through wires as a power source. Although charge exchange can happen whenever any two surfaces come into contact and separate, a static charge only remains when at least one of the surfaces has a high resistance to electrical flow (an electrical insulator).