The Origin and History of Electricity

Last Updated: 31 May 2023
Pages: 3 Views: 59

Electricity was first researched by Thales of Miletos around 600BC. He conducted a few experiments on static electricity in which he believed that friction made amber become magnetized. Other than the fact that people knew that eels produced electric shocks, electricity was little more than an intellectual curiosity for over 2000 years. Until 1600 when someone from England discovered the lodestone effect when amber with static would attract small objects towards it. In the 18th century, Benjamin Franklin did much research on electricity and sold his possessions to fund his research. He was said to have tied a key to a damp string attached to a kite and flew it into an electrical storm. He watched as sparks jumped from the key to the back of his hand discovering that lightning was electrical. Inside an atom there is a nucleus and electrons that orbit around it.

In many metals, the atoms have electrons that can detach from the atom and move around. These are called free electrons. Most metals, gold, silver, copper, all have free electrons. These electrical Ð2Ð ̧ÑšconductorsÐ3Ð ̧Ñce make it easy for electricity to flow through them because of these free electrons. Electricity needs these conductive materials to move from place to place and to get electricity to move requires an electrical generator.

There is a link between electricity and magnetism. Electricity can produce magnetism and magnetism can produce electricity. This is why generators use magnets to get electricity moving. A magnet spins inside a coil of wire to get those free electrons moving around thus creating electricity. Generators can be very small or large depending on how much electricity is needed. A generator can be powered by a number of different sources including, but not limited to, wind, water, steam, heat, and other things. Electricity is measured in amps, which is the number of electrons that move through a wire. One amp is equivalent to 6,240,000,000,000,000,000 electrons going through a wire in one second.

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The amount of pressure pushing those amps in measured in volts. Electricity is found in many places in nature. Lightning is an example of electricity that is found in nature. In an electrical storm, the storm clouds are charged like giant batteries in the sky. The upper portion of the cloud is positive and the lower portion is negative. How the cloud acquires this charge is still not agreed upon among scientists, but the following description provides one plausible explanation. In a cloud, there are billions of tiny water and ice particles. As these small droplets collide and separate, they gain a static charge. As the cloud begins to gather electricity, it gains an electrical field. As the collisions and freezing continue to occur and the charges at the top and bottom of the cloud increase, the electric field becomes more and more intense. It then becomes so intense intense, in fact, that the electrons at the earth's surface are repelled deeper into the earth by the strong negative charge at the lower portion of the cloud.

Lightning gets very complex so ill just tell you about the basics from here on out. Pretty much what happens next is that the electrical field gets so strong that it strips the electrons from the air (ionizing) creating a suitable pathway down towards the earth. The electrons in the earth and the ones in the cloud create an ionized path to each other. Even though we know a lot about electricity and how it works, there are still many more mysteries to be solved about this energy.

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The Origin and History of Electricity. (2023, May 31). Retrieved from

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