Electricity

A:

Electric energy is the energy created by electrons moving through an electrical conductor. The world is made of matter. All matter contains atoms that contain electrons that are always moving. When electrons are forced down a conductive path, such as a wire, the movement produces electricity, or electric energy.

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  • Why Is Wind Energy Important?

    Q: Why Is Wind Energy Important?

    A: Wind energy is important because it holds immense potential in supplying electricity across the world. Unlike other sources of electricity that require fuel in processing plants, wind energy generates electricity through wind, which is free. Wind is considered a native fuel that does not need to be transported or mined, eliminating two costly expenses from long-term energy expenses.
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  • Who Discovered Solar Energy?

    Q: Who Discovered Solar Energy?

    A: Physicist Alexandre Edmond Becquerel, of Paris, France, discovered solar power in 1839. Energy Matters reports that Becquerel demonstrated the use of solar energy by shining sunlight onto an electrode submerged in a conductive solution to generate an electric current. This was known as the photovoltaic effect.
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  • How Does a Light Bulb Circuit Work?

    Q: How Does a Light Bulb Circuit Work?

    A: A light bulb circuit works when the electric current flowing through the light bulb combines with the current flowing in the battery or power source. The filament and wires in the light bulb conduct electricity so that electric current can move through an electric circuit.
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  • Does Lemon Juice Conduct Electricity?

    Q: Does Lemon Juice Conduct Electricity?

    A: According to the California Science Center, lemon juice can both conduct and produce electricity. Lemon juice contains citric acid, which is a strong electrolyte. The electrolytes in lemon produce electricity by allowing two metals to react with each other.
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  • What Generates Electricity

    Q: What Generates Electricity

    A: While there are many different methods of generating electricity, most electricity that powers homes and businesses comes from electric turbines. These devices spin a magnetic core through copper wiring, creating a charge through magnetic induction. In many cases, the energy to turn the turbine comes from steam generated by coal, natural gas or nuclear fission. In more sustainable cases, moving water or wind turns the turbine and generates electricity.
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  • How Does an Electric Spark Occur?

    Q: How Does an Electric Spark Occur?

    A: Electrostatic discharge, or ESD, is a sudden flow of electric current between two objects that have different electronic potentials. An electric spark is a type of ESD wherein there is a flow of electric current across an air gap, increasing the air temperature, which produces light and sound emission.
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  • How Far Can Lightning Travel in Water?

    Q: How Far Can Lightning Travel in Water?

    A: Generally, lightning can travel for 20 feet through water before dissipating. How far the charge travels depends on the intensity of the lightning, topography of the water, salinity and temperature. Lightning does not penetrate deep into water, but the charge disperses in all directions, favoring the surface.
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  • How Can I Make Static Electricity?

    Q: How Can I Make Static Electricity?

    A: There are many ways to make static electricity. To create a small amount of static electricity a person can develop a static charge by rubbing a glass rod with a silk cloth or amber against wool. The static charge will allow the glass and the amber to attract small amounts of paper and plastic.
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  • How Does Static Electricity Work?

    Q: How Does Static Electricity Work?

    A: According to the Library of Congress, static electricity occurs when the surface charge of an object changes. If someone rubs certain types of materials together, electrons can jump from one to the other, changing the effective charge of both items. Positively charged items attract negatively charged items, while items with the same charge repel. Bringing two objects together with significantly different charges can result in a vivid spark.
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  • What Is Electric Field Intensity?

    Q: What Is Electric Field Intensity?

    A: Calculating electric field intensity requires the knowledge about the current charge level of the object that is making the electric field and the distance between that charged object and the measuring tool. Electric field intensity (or strength) is a vector quantity, which means it has direction as well as magnitude. The magnitude of this intensity comes from the way it is measured.
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  • What Causes Electric Fields?

    Q: What Causes Electric Fields?

    A: Electrical fields are caused by the attraction and repulsion of electrical charges. Electrical fields are measured using volts per meter and are central to the functioning of electrically-powered devices, such as televisions, light bulbs and computers.
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  • Where Does Electricity Come From?

    Q: Where Does Electricity Come From?

    A: According to National Geographic, electricity comes from energy sources such as fossil fuels, wind energy and hydroelectric power. Electricity is transported from a power station via power lines that carry electrical current into communities.
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  • Can You Use a 12-Gauge Wire With a 30-Amp Breaker?

    Q: Can You Use a 12-Gauge Wire With a 30-Amp Breaker?

    A: A 30-amp breaker does not operate safely with a 12-gauge wire. The minimum wire size that is allowable for use with a 30-amp breaker is 10 gauge.
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  • How Are Current and Voltage Related?

    Q: How Are Current and Voltage Related?

    A: Voltage, or electrical pressure, in a system produces a proportionate amount of current when placed across electrical resistance. Ohm's law indicates that 1 volt passed through 1 ohm of resistance produces 1 ampere of current, or electrical flow. Voltage and current, therefore, have a direct relationship most of the time.
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  • What Are Some Non-Conductive Metals?

    Q: What Are Some Non-Conductive Metals?

    A: There are no non-conductive metals; all metals conduct electricity, though some do this more effectively than others. Thanks to the molecular structure of metals, they are all relatively effective conductors, though silver is the most conductive metal known to man.
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  • How Is It Possible to Power a Light Bulb With a Potato?

    Q: How Is It Possible to Power a Light Bulb With a Potato?

    A: A potato helps power a light bulb by acting as both a bridge and a separator for two electrodes made of different metals. The two metals most frequently used are zinc and copper because of their ubiquity and difference in electron affinity. The acid in the potato starts the reaction, and the electrolytes in the potato allow a flow of electrons, an electric current, to flow between the electrodes.
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  • How Was Electricity Discovered?

    Q: How Was Electricity Discovered?

    A: Although knowledge about the existence of electricity existed as early as 600 B.C., it was not until 1600 that William Gilbert published "De magnete, Magneticisique Corporibus," or "On the Magnet" and coined the term "electrica." Before Gilbert, knowledge was limited to that of the magnetic charges of a loadstone and that rubbing an amber or a jet rod with wool caused particles to stick to the rod.
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  • What Does the "C" Stand for in E=mc^2?

    Q: What Does the "C" Stand for in E=mc^2?

    A: The c in Einstein's famous equation stands for the speed of light. Light travels constantly at a speed of 186,000 miles per second, meaning that c equals 186,000 miles per second.
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  • What Are Basic Electronics?

    Q: What Are Basic Electronics?

    A: Basic electronics are capacitors, resistors, diodes, transistors, integrated circuits, potentiometers, LEDs, switches, batteries, breadboards and wire. Together, one can use these components to create a host of electronic devices by manipulating electricity.
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  • What Is the Difference Between an Amp and a Volt?

    Q: What Is the Difference Between an Amp and a Volt?

    A: An ampere (or amp) is a measure of the amount of electricity, called "current," in a circuit, while voltage is a measure of the force behind that electricity's motion. In a common textbook analogy in which a circuit is imagined as a garden hose, current (measured in amps) would be the volume of water within the hose and voltage would be the pressure that pushes it onward.
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  • Where Is Nuclear Energy Used?

    Q: Where Is Nuclear Energy Used?

    A: Nuclear energy is mostly used for electric power generation. According to the World Nuclear Association, there were over 430 commercial nuclear power reactors operating in 31 countries as of April 2014, with over 370,000 MW of total capacity. Approximately 70 more reactors were under construction as of April 2014.
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