Sunday, November 11, 2012

The concept of electricity – Good to know

The word electricity comes from the Greek word ήλεκτρον (electron) meaning amber because electrical effects were classically produced by rubbing amber. The simplest way to define electricity is do describe it as the movement of electrons. This however is in fact more the general explanation that encompasses a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. Electricity, for instance, enables the creation and reception of electromagnetic radiation such as radio waves.


Rubbing amber produces electricity.

Though the effects of electricity have been studied since ancient times, the practical applications for electricity did not started to appear before the second half of the 19th century.

In order to explain electricity with more details we need to include electrical charges that come from protons and electrons. Protons have a positive electrical charge and electrons the negative charge. These two opposite charges attract each other but because electrons have a very powerful forward momentum they don't just collide with nucleus of the atom but instead continue to move around the nucleus. A certain number of electrons that escape from their atoms and join other atoms are in fact creating electricity, or in the other words electricity is basically the story about electrons which have gotten away from their atoms.

Not all atoms are the same and some atoms lose their electrons more easily than others meaning that the amount of electricity varies from one atom to other. Metals such as copper and silver are among metals that very easily lose their electrons.

Electricity is occurring everywhere in the universe, and not just in our planet. Loose electrons are all over the universe, and there is even electricity in our bodies.

Electricity is one of the foundations on which our modern way of life has been built upon and it would be almost impossible to imagine what our everyday life would look like without the electricity.
The household form of electricity is alternating current (AC) where the movement of electric charge periodically reverses direction opposite to direct current (DC) where the flow of electric charge is only occurring in one direction.

Fossil fuels, namely coal and natural gas are still the main sources of electricity in the world. The most important renewable energy source in generating electricity is hydropower, while wind and solar are yet to provide more significant share of globally produced electricity.

0 comments: