John Chubb

It is with great sadness we have to tell you of the passing of John Norman Chubb, on the 19th December 2015.
This amazing, kind and generous man will be missed by many.

This website remains open with his published work, writings and paintings.

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This website is primarily concerned with electrostatic measurements. It also includes a section showing examples of a number of the paintings I have done over recent years, copies of a number of published Letters to Editors and some thoughts on a few questions in Philosophy.

. Venice Grand Canal

The business of Infostatic is the provision of information, ideas and advice in the area of electrostatic measurements. This is based on the experience in developing, manufacturing and using electrostatic measuring instruments over 25 years of running John Chubb Instrumentation. An outline history of the business of John Chubb Instrumentation ("A 'Static' business") is shown in the Careers section of the January 2015 issue of 'Physics World'.

This Website aims to be a source of information and inspriation about static electricity - how it arises, how it can be measured (instruments and test methods), how it can be controlled and how it can be used. A general overview on static electricity and relevant methods for its measurement and assessment is provided in my book: "An Introduction to Electrostatic Measurements" published by Nova Publishers in 2010. Some introductorty audio notes about static electricity are also available on this website. In addition to the work on electrostatics there is a list of the papers I published from the work I did on vacuum technology (cryopumping and Monte Carlo modelling of free molecular gas flow) at UKAEA Culham Lab from 1962.

Since John Chubb Instrumentation was sold to Chilworth Technology in February 2009 I have done consultancy work for a number of customers, carried out a number of studies and taken the opportunity to write a number of papers - several based on work carried out during operation of JCI. These papers include:

"Risks of ignition from Type D ungrounded FIBC" (J Electrostatics 68 2010 p145-151);

"Analysis of long corona charge decay times" (J Electrostatics 68 2010 p284-286);

"Letter to the Editor: Assessing the electrostatic suitability of garments for use in electrostatically sensitive work areas" (J. Electrostatics 68 2010 p404);

"Operational health monitoring for confidence in long term electric field measurements" (J. Electrostatics 68 2010 p469-472);

"Stutter timing for charge decay measurement" (IoP Conference Series 301 2011);

"Assessing the electrostatic suitability of materials" (

"The measurement of atmospheric electric fields using pole mounted electrostatic fieldmeters" (J Electrostatics 72 2014 (4) p295-300)

"An alternative method for charge decay measurement to assess the suitability of materials" (J Electrostatics 72 (5) 2014 p396-401)

"Comparison of atmospheric electric field measurements by a pole mounted fieldmeter and by a horizontal wire antenna" (J Electrostatics 73 2015 p1-5).

"A 'Static' business" (Institute of Physics 'Physics World', January 2015 p44, 45). An outline history of the business of John Chubb Instrumentation.

"How should the electrostatic suitability of materials be assessed?" J Electrostatics 77 2015 p163-165.

"Limitations on the performance of field mill fieldmeters with alternating electric fields" J Electrostatics 78 2015 p1-3.

"Enhanced performance of field mill fieldmeters for alternating electric fields" Paper with John Harbour submitted to J Electrostatics, October 2015

Much of the information on this Website arises from the operation of John Chubb Instrumentation over the period from 1983 to 2009. There is also reference to earlier work, for instance while at UKAEA Culham Laboratory, and to papers that have been published over the last 6 years.

The assets of JCI were sold to Chilworth Technology Ltd in Southampton in February 2009 and it is Chilworth Technology who are now developing, manufacturing, marketing and supporting the range of electrostatic measuring instruments developed by John Chubb Instumentation. It is hence Chilworth who should be approached about the design, performance and availability of instruments to suit particular requirements. I remain available, and happy, to discuss any questions that may arise about electrostatic measurements.

Whats on this Website? 
Explore this Website to find out about making electrostatic measurements and to access lots of supporting information about static electricity.

What is Static Electricity? 
'Static electricity' arises when contacting surfaces are separated. If the charge that arises from differences between the surfaces cannot run away to earth quickly enough then it is trapped - it is 'static'. The 'quickly enough' relates to the time for the charge to leak away to earth - or to the time for the charge to spread out over the surface of a material.

Examples of 'static electricity' are the picking up of small pieces of paper by a rubbed comb or piece of plastic and the cling of thin light fabrics after they have been rubbed.

Static Electricity is important in industry as it can cause risks and problems that need to be avoided. It is also the basis for many useful applications.

Why Bother About Static? 
Many materials, in particular plastics, easily become electrostatically charged when rubbed against other materials. Such 'triboelectric' charging can be used constructively - for example, in photocopying, electrostatic clamping and the retention of powder in electrostatic precipitation and paint spraying. Retained electrostatic charge also creates risks and causes problems in many areas of industry. It can cause ignition of flammable gases and give shocks to personnel. It can make thin films an d light fabrics cling, attract airborne dust and debris, damage semiconductor devices and upset the operation of microelectronic equipment (read more ... )

JCI 155 Charge Decay test unit JCI 140 Static Monitor

John Chubb, email:

© John Chubb
Site last updated: 11 September 2015    Website originated: April 2006 by Luke Holland