What is Electricity? Definition and Types of electricity.

what is electricity?



    What is electricity?

    Here are some common meanings and consequences of the word ‘Electricity.  Think about these carefully, because if one of these meanings is correct, then all the others are contradicting them. Unfortunately, our dictionaries and encyclopedias contain all of these contradictions.

    According to the scientific definition, Electricity is the package of charge. So If we consider Electricity as ‘charge’ then there are some contradictions and important consequences in our mind:
    • Electricity should not a form of energy.
    • Electricity does not travel at the speed of light.
    • The only ‘kinds’ of electricity are negative and positive (charge).
    • Electricity in wires travels in closed circles only.
    • Electricity should not ‘converted’ into other forms.
    • The path for electricity is not from source to consumer.
    • Utility companies won’t sell any Electricity.
    So the word Electricity has contradictory meanings. But although in Electrical Science we ignore all these literature contradictions and define it technically.

    Electricity isn’t only a basic part of nature. It is also one of the most widely used forms of energy in the world. This is because in addition to it naturally occurring in the world in the form of lightning (static electricity), it is also a manufactured product. It is generated by a generator (alternator) in Electrical power plant and transmitted through the transmission network to the consumer end.

    Electricity is the flow of electrical charge through a conductor. The electricity that we are using is a secondary source of energy. Because it is produced by converting primary energy sources such as coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, solar energy, and wind energy, etc into electrical energy. This is also referred to as an Energy carrier. Which means it can be converted into other forms of energies such as mechanical energy, heat, light, etc. Primary energy sources are either renewable energy or nonrenewable energy.

    Despite there is a great importance of electricity in our everyday life. Just imagine what our life would be like without electricity?. Like water and air, we tend to take electricity for granted. So in simple word Electricity is the heart of all the technologies we are using in our daily life.

    Definition of Electricity

    The Scientist’s definition of Electricity is Electric Charge: The quantity of electricity is measured in Coulomb. So "Electricity" is the package of electrons and protons. It is the electric charge inside the metal. All wires contain electricity all the time, that's why they are conductors.

    Concepts of Electricity

    Electricity is a type of Energy which involves the flow of electrons. All the matters are made up of atoms and the center of it is called Nucleus. Nucleus has positively charged particles known as Protons and uncharged particles known as Neutrons. The Nucleus becomes surrounded by negatively charged particles known as Electrons. Electrons revolve in a circular orbit known as a cell. The charge of electrons and protons becomes equal and opposite in nature. So it maintains equillibrium within the atom.

    When that equilibrium force between protons and electrons is disturbed by any  external force (Electric Field), then atom may gain or lose electrons. When electrons are lost from an atom, then the free electrons mooves toward Electric field. Hence due to the free moovement of these electrons, electric current flows througn the conductor in opposite to the direction of flow of electron.

    Types of Electricity

    There are mainly two types of Electricity.
    1. Static Electricity
    2. Current Electricity
    So let’s discuss it one by one in detail.

    1. Static Electricity

    Example of Static Electricity
    Example of Static Electricity
    Static electricity is when electrical charges developed on the surface of the material. It is usually caused by friction when two or more than two materials rubbed together. Then, as a result, static electricity builds up and due to this these objects may be attracted to each other or may even cause a spark. So let’s consider an example when we rub a balloon on a wool sweater and hold it up to the wall.

    Then we observe that before rubbing, like all materials, the balloons and the wool sweater have a neutral charge on it. This is because they each have the same number of positively charged subatomic particles (protons) and negatively charged subatomic particles (electrons). But after rubbing the balloon with the wool sweater, some electrons are transferred from the wool to the balloon material (rubber). Then the balloon becomes negatively charged because it gains electrons from the wool. Whereas the wool becomes positively charged because it loses electrons.

    2. Current Electricity

    Current is the rate of flow of electrons. It is produced by moving free electrons and it is measured in amperes (A). While Current electricity is the flow of electric charge across an electric field. Unlike static electricity, current electricity must flow through a conducting material, usually a copper wire. Current electricity is just like current when you imagine the flow of a river. The river flows from one point to another. With respect to electricity, the current is a measure of the amount of energy which is transferred over a period of time. That energy is nothing but a flow of electrons. One of the results of current is the heating of the conductor due to the resistance of the conductor. When an electric heater heats up, it's because of the flow of current through heater wire.

    There are different sources of current electricity including the chemical reactions taking place in batteries. The most common source of current electricity is generator (alternator). A simple generator produces electricity when a copper coil turns inside the magnetic field. In a power plant, electromagnets spinning inside many coils of copper wire generate huge quantities of current electricity.

    There are two main types of electric current. Direct current (DC) and Alternating current (AC). It is easy to remember. Direct current is like the energy you are getting from a battery. Whereas an Alternating current is like the plugs in the wall. The big difference between these two is that DC continues the flow of energy in the same direction. While AC can turn on and off in a positive and negative direction.

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