55 Interesting Facts About Electricity: The Tale On Electric Current | Kidadl

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55 Interesting Facts About Electricity: The Tale On Electric Current

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Electricity is the driving force in the world of the 21st century and it is one of the most essential aspects of our daily life.

There are various fascinating facts about electricity that might amaze you as you read about them more in this article. You may have read about some of them and some might be new, but we are sure your knowledge will increase after you finish reading this article.

All of us use electricity every day. We have our mobile phones, computers, light, air conditioners, and so many other things. Our life revolves around electricity in a way that we do not even realize. Gone are the days of mechanical gadgets. As technology is getting advanced day by day, more and more devices are being invented that work by electricity. Many people get confused between the terms electricity and electrical energy. Electricity is the word to use when you refer to the flow of electrical energy while the other term is the actual type of energy that helps to run our machines and devices in our homes and offices. These terms are used interchangeably most of the time and you can find out more as you read fun facts about the speed at which electricity travels and what can produce strong electric shocks.

The world's biggest source in producing electricity is coal. This is closely followed by the wind that spins turbines to generate heat and electric charge. If electricity gathers in one place, it is called static electricity and if it moves from one place to another, it is called electric current.

If you think this article is a good one you can find similar articles on facts about Mercury and facts about the body system.

The Invention Of Electricity, When And Why

The history of electricity is a complicated one with many misconceptions surrounding it. You will be fascinated to know that the history dates as far back as 600 BC and not in 1752 when Benjamin Franklin found the connection between electricity and lightning.

Isn’t it interesting that electricity was discovered by ancient Greeks in 600 BC when they rubbed fur on amber and found there was an instant attraction between the two? They actually discovered static electricity. During the '30s, scientists found proof that the ancient Romans may have used batteries. They found pots with copper sheets inside of them that looked like batteries. Some similar devices were discovered near Baghdad which means ancient Persians may have also used batteries.

English physician William Gilbert is credited with using the word ‘electricus’ in 1600 when he wanted to describe the force of attraction between two things when they were rubbed against one another. Thomas Brown, who was also an English scientist, used the term ‘electricity' in his books when he was studying the work of Gilbert. Benjamin Franklin, in 1752, conducted an experiment that is known all over the world. He used a key, a kite, and a storm to prove that electricity and lightning are the same things. Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod that helped buildings in protecting themselves from lightning strikes. One of the earliest electric batteries was built by Italian scientist Alessandro Volta in 1800. It was the first device that could produce a steady electric current. The light bulb was invented by Thomas Edison around 1878. He owned the first power plant in New York City which was built in 1882. He helped in the development of DC current.

Nikola Tesla is an important name when it comes to the history of producing electricity. He was a Serbian American inventor and engineer who gave birth to the commercialization of electricity. He competed with Marconi for the patent on the radio. His work revolved around alternating current (AC) and AC motors. Some other prominent names of people who led to the development of electricity are James Watt (who invented the steam engine), George Ohm (who discovered Ohm’s Law), and American inventor William Morrison (who created the first successful electric car). As you have read, the history of electricity is a vast one, full of people who contributed in their own ways to develop electricity.

Types Of Electricity

There are two types of electricity that are known to us. These are static electricity and current electricity. The difference between the two is very clear once you learn more about these facts about electricity.

The energy that is produced when two materials are rubbed together is known as static electricity. Electrical charges are built up between the materials that might cause them to attract each other or maybe repel one another. When you rub a woolen sweater on a balloon and then bring the balloon near shreds of paper, you will notice that the paper pieces stick to the balloon. This is due to the formation of static electricity. Both the woolen sweater and the balloon had a neutral charge before rubbing as both had an equal amount of negatively charged particles (electrons) and positively charged particles (protons). When the balloon is rubbed with the sweater, some electrons transfer from the sweater to the balloon, and papers get attached to it.

The flow of electrons is called current electricity. It is measured in amperes and created by the moving of electrons from one place to another. Differing from static electricity, a conductor such as copper wire is required for the flow of current electricity. The quantity of energy that gets transferred over a duration of time is used to measure the current. The example of the flow of current can be seen when an electric kettle heats up. This happens due to the heating up of the conductor as current electricity passes through it. The sources of this type of electricity are many. A generator is the most common source that helps in the production of electricity when copper coils turn inside a magnetic field. Power plants have electromagnets that can produce huge amounts of current electricity. This electricity can be of two subtypes: direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC).

How much electricity does a fan use?

One of the most common electric appliances you will find in any home is a fan. You might be wondering how much electricity a fan consumes and whether it depends on any factors or not.

Most people have little to no idea how much electric charge a fan consumes. You may think of getting an antique ceiling fan to add a touch of glamour to your home but you might not know that this will consume more energy than newer fans. Lights require less energy than fans. A tube light may consume about 55 watts of power while a ceiling fan takes up about 90 watts. The amount of electricity that a fan consumes depends on some factors. The motor type and size of the fan affect the amount. It also depends on the air delivery rate and the radius of the fan’s blades. Pedestal fans consume about 60 watts of power. This is because they have a smaller radius than ceiling fans and these are used by people in small places. If you are comfortable with fans, you should always choose them over air conditioners as they are cheaper to run.

How do we get electricity?

The following facts about electricity will tell you the sources of electric current and how it reaches your home. There are various sources of electricity, some of which you already know.

The world's biggest source of electricity in the world is coal but greenhouse gases emitted by coal make it a harmful source. PCC or pulverized coal combustion system is used to generate electricity from coals. The United States has more than a quarter of the world’s coal reserves. The coal is broken down into a fine powder form and then blown into a boiler. This is burned at high temperatures. Heat energy and gases produced change water into steam which passes through a turbine with blades. A generator located at the turbine shaft creates electricity that is transported with the help of power line grids.

As people are looking for renewable sources of energy in today’s world, more emphasis is being placed on alternatives to fossil fuels. This includes sun, water, and wind. The power of the Sun is used to produce electricity by making use of solar energy. Solar panels are becoming more common nowadays, making use of photovoltaic cells. Wind energy produced by wind turbines is another source of electricity in places with high wind speed. Wind turbines are exactly the opposite of fans. While fans use electricity to produce wind, wind turbines use the wind to produce electricity. Hydroelectric power generated from turbines is a clean source of electric current harnessing the wave power. High pressure from the water stored at dams produces hydroelectric energy.

Consumers receive electricity that gets transferred from power stations by a complex system of the power grid. The grid consists of a number of high-voltage and low-voltage power lines with several transformers. This grid connects the power station to the consumers. The high voltage transmission lines that you see hanging between huge metal towers have the ability to carry electric energy over long distances.

Fun facts about electricity include that lightning is produced from negative charges at the bottom of rain clouds.

Did You Know...

There are several fun facts to know about electricity generation that will make you think more about an electric charge.

Electricity is measured using watts, a unit named after James Watt, the inventor of the steam engine. Electricity travels via a power line and sometimes via grounded wire.

Electricity travels with the speed of light that is equal to 186,000 mi/s (300 million m/s). The highest electricity consumption in a year is done by Iceland who consumes around 23% more than the United States. On average, a house in the U.S. consumes 11,000 kWh of electricity in a year.

Contrary to popular beliefs, Benjamin Franklin did not discover electricity but found its similarity with lightning and invented the lightning rod.

The Thomas Edison Memorial Tower in New Jersey is home to the biggest light bulb in the world that measures about 14 ft (4.27 m) in height.

Nerve cells in our bodies use electricity to pass signals to muscles and muscle cells. Muscle cells in the human heart use electricity to contract. An electrocardiogram (ECG) machine measures the electricity that passes through the heart. For a healthy person, when the heart beats, the machine will display a line that moves across the screen having regular spikes.

During a lightning strike, lightning bolts travel at high speeds of 130,000 mph (209,214 kph) and can reach high temperatures of about 54,000 F (29,982 C). One bolt of lightning can power up 100 lamps for a single day.

The electric eel is a fascinating animal of the sea. Electric eels can produce strong electric shocks of 500 volts. This is done both for hunting and in self-defense. You should avoid electric eels at all costs.

About 50,000 volts of electricity are emitted by an average taser.

When it comes to an electric charge, two opposite charges attract while two similar charges repel.

Birds who sit on power lines do not die of electrocution as often as you might think. This is due to the fact that a single power line is safe to sit on. But if any other part of the bird’s body touches another line, it creates an electric circuit, and electricity passes through the bird, killing it.

Electric fields work in the same way as gravity. The difference between an electric field and gravity is that while gravitational fields only attract one another, electric fields can either attract or repulse.

Thomas Edison built over 2,000 devices, most of which are in use even today. These consist of meters, switches, and fuses among others.

The electricity that is used in our homes in light bulbs and TVs uses alternating current (AC). LED bulbs consume significantly less electricity than traditional bulbs but they are a bit on the pricey side.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 55 interesting facts about electricity: the tale on electric current then why not take a look at 15 fascinating ancient Greek culture facts for curious kids or are maple trees deciduous.

<p>With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature.&nbsp;</p>

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