Electricity in a Nutshell

Electricity is found all around us, it produces a wide variety of effects, such as lightning, static electricity, electromagnetic induction and electrical current. Electricity is the flow of moving electrons. Flowing electrons are called an electrical current.

 

When you attach one end of a wire to the positive post of a battery, and the other end of the wire to the negative post, the electrons that are present in the wire all begin to move in the same direction. The battery contains an excess of electrons on the negative terminal and not enough on the positive terminal.

 

The negative terminal pushes the negatively-charged particles into the wire and the positive terminal draws them out. The wire provides a road for the electrons to travel through. This creates a circuit of flowing electrons. This flow of electrons can then power any device that requires electricity.

 

However, “flow” isn’t the proper word to use that describes the process of an electrical current. Instead, scientists refer to this reaction as a “drift”. Electrons move very slowly through the electrical current, at only a few inches an hour. The reason for the slow movement of electrons is that they are constantly bumping into atoms through their journey.

 

This reaction is called resistance. While the electrons are circling their nuclei, the nuclei itself is vibrating, resulting in the electrons constantly getting knocked off course. The energy produced from all of this movement is actually heat and not electricity. This is why wires, that don’t contain proper insulation, feel warm when you touch them.

 

Another result of all of these collisions is the inefficiency of the currents. Electrons don’t move in a straight and efficient manner, there is about a 7 percent loss of potential current. This results in an inefficient means of producing current.

 

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