What is electricity?
Electricity is the flow of electric charge. Electricity is a form of energy that comes in positive and negative forms that occur naturally. Electricity is widely used in providing power to buildings, electric devices and even some automobiles.
Long before any knowledge of electricity existed, people were aware of shocks from electric fish. The Greeks were the first to discover electrical charge. Electrical charge is static electricity that does not move. When the Ancient Greeks time had finished Benjamin Franklin Gilbert discovered electricity again in 1759. Throughout the next hundred years, many inventors and scientists tried to find a way to use electrical power to make light. In 1879 the American Inventor Thomas Edison was finally able to produce a reliable, long-lasting electric light bulb in his laboratory. By the end of the 1880’s small electrical stations based on Edison’s design were to power only a few cities block.
There are many types of electricity in the world that we use. But the two main types of electricity is Static Electricity and Current Electricity. Static Electricity is when electrical charges build up on the surface of a material. It is usually caused by rubbing materials together. Current electricity is the rate of flow of electrons. It is produced by moving electrons and it is measured in amperes. Unlike static electricity, current electricity must flow through a conductor, usually copper wire. Current electricity is caused by flow free electrons from one atom to another. There are different sources of current electricity including the chemical reactions taking place in a battery. The most common source is the generator. A simple generator produces electricity when a coil of copper turns inside a magnetic field. There are also two main kinds of electric current. Direct Current (DC) and Alternating Current (AC). Direct current is like the energy you get from a battery. Alternating current is like the plugs in the wall. The big difference between the two currents is that DC is a flow of energy while AC can turn on and off.
Electricity for powering our home is made in power stations. A power station contains large machine called turbines, which are turned very quickly. Power stations need large amount of energy to turn the turbines around. Most use heat energy produced from burning coal. Other use wind energy or moving water. Steam turbine generator, gas turbine generator, diesel engine generators, alternative energy system, even nuclear power plants all operate on the same principle magnets.