Electricity

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According to the Union University Department of Physics, when an electric current passes through a solid copper wire, the electrons move forward, but the protons within the positive atoms of copper do not. Electricity travelling through a wire moves at an extremely fast speed and is capable of powering anything from a light bulb to a laptop.

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  • What is electric energy?

    Q: What is electric energy?

    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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  • What is the definition of electricity?

    Q: What is the definition of electricity?

    A: Electricity is defined as a type of energy that involves the flow of electrons, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Electricity occurs when an atom gains or loses an electron.
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  • What happens to the air when the electrical energy of lightning is discharged?

    Q: What happens to the air when the electrical energy of lightning is discharged?

    A: Surrounding air superheats to more than 18,000 degrees Fahrenheit, expands outward rapidly and produces the strong soundwaves known as thunder when the electrical energy of lightning is discharged in Earth's atmosphere. Most of the energy of lightning is in the form of heat that quickly dissipates in cooler air. Before lightning strikes, the insulating capacity of air breaks down, and the negatively charged atmosphere produces powerful bolts.
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  • How do fossil fuels make electricity?

    Q: How do fossil fuels make electricity?

    A: Power plants burn fossil fuels to heat water and make steam, which triggers complex generators inside the plant. These processes create an electromagnetic field that provides the electrical energy that people consume. A number of fossil fuels are used to make electricity, but the most common and inexpensive is coal.
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  • What are some good things about nuclear energy?

    Q: What are some good things about nuclear energy?

    A: According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, nuclear energy offers the capability to generate extremely large amounts of electricity without producing greenhouse gases or other air pollutants. Like fossil fuel technologies, nuclear power plants can scale their output to meet demand, and they are extremely fuel-efficient. A single kilogram of uranium can produce up to 3.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, where a kilogram of coal produces around 3 kilowatt-hours.
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  • What is static electricity and how does it affect everyday life?

    Q: What is static electricity and how does it affect everyday life?

    A: Static electricity results from an imbalance between positive and negative charges in an object, according to the Library of Congress. It affects daily life in numerous ways, such as causing hair to rise when a person removes his hat as the electrons get transferred from the hat to the hair.
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  • How does a windmill produce electricity?

    Q: How does a windmill produce electricity?

    A: Windmills produce electricity by electromagnetic induction, the process in which the movement of magnets in a magnetic field generates electricity. In a windmill, when wind moves the blades of the windmill that move the rotor, the rotor rotates a shaft that holds magnets in the magnetic field of the generator, generating alternating current that is sent along power lines.
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  • How do photovoltaic cells work?

    Q: How do photovoltaic cells work?

    A: When photovoltaic cells are hit by sunlight, photons are absorbed, electrons are released and capturing those free electrons causes an electric current. Photovoltaic cells create a direct current (DC), which must be transformed into an alternating current (AC) for industry and home use. Photovoltaic systems rely on an inverter to accomplish this conversion.
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  • How do electric trains work?

    Q: How do electric trains work?

    A: Electric trains use electricity to power electric motors, driving their wheels and providing locomotion. The electricity comes from one of three sources. It is either delivered via an electrified third rail beneath the train, via electrified cables above the train, or stored in batteries on board the train.
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  • What was Benjamin Franklin's kite experiment?

    Q: What was Benjamin Franklin's kite experiment?

    A: According to Code Check, Benjamin Franklin's famous kite experiment refers to an attempt by the renowned scientist, philosopher and politician to prove his theories about electricity. He took a simple kite out on a stormy day with his son and made the shocking discovery that lightning was related to the phenomenon of static electricity.
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  • What is a convection current?

    Q: What is a convection current?

    A: Convection currents occur in the Earth's geosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere when heat is transferred from one place to another. Heat energy moves from hot places to cold places during convection.
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  • What is the function of a lightning rod?

    Q: What is the function of a lightning rod?

    A: A lightning rod conducts a positive charge up to meet the negative charge of a lightning strike, allowing the strike to hit the rod and travel through attached wires to an underground connection. This diverts the strike away from a building, preventing or lessening potential damage, according to About.com.
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  • What is the origin of solar energy?

    Q: What is the origin of solar energy?

    A: Solar energy comes from the sun, but the energy the sun emits comes from nuclear fusion on a massive scale. Specifically, it is the fusion of two hydrogen atoms into a single atom of helium.
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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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  • What color is lightning?

    Q: What color is lightning?

    A: Lightning is usually white, but it can be a variety of colors depending on what the light travels through to get to the viewer’s eyes. In snowstorms, lightning can appear pink or green. Particles in the atmosphere affect the color by absorbing or diffracting a portion of the white light.
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  • What is eddy current?

    Q: What is eddy current?

    A: An eddy current is an electrical current induced in a piece of metal due to the relative motion of a nearby magnet. Any time a magnet passes a metallic object, its magnetic field induces an electric current, which swirls around near the surface of the metal like an eddy in a river. This electric current creates its own magnetic field, which opposes the motion of the magnet.
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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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  • What kinds of devices use capacitors?

    Q: What kinds of devices use capacitors?

    A: Virtually every electronic device in widespread use contains some form of capacitor. Used to store electricity, capacitors often help computers avoid losing their memory when the batteries are being recharged. Other devices, such as amplifiers for car stereos, contain capacitors that store energy until it is needed by the amplifier. Motion detectors use capacitors to help achieve the proper timing of the unit’s circuits.
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  • What happens to the current in a short circuit?

    Q: What happens to the current in a short circuit?

    A: When a short circuit occurs, electrical current experiences little to no resistance because its path has been diverted from its normal direction of flow. This in turn produces excess heat and can damage or destroy an electrical appliance. It can also create a fire hazard and an electrical shock hazard if left unattended
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  • What is a wire ampacity table?

    Q: What is a wire ampacity table?

    A: A wire ampacity table is a chart displaying the electrical amp rating carried by specific wire types and gauge sizes. Amperage is a measure of the electrical current flowing through a circuit, which is measured in amps. Proper wire size must meet specific amp limits.
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  • Can you get struck by lightning through a window?

    Q: Can you get struck by lightning through a window?

    A: Lightning can strike items and people through windows. As a result, the National Weather Service advises people to stay away from windows during lightning storms.
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