Electricity is the flow of tiny particles called electrons and protons. It can also mean the energy you get when electrons flow from place to place. Electricity can be seen in nature in a bolt of lightning. Lightning is nothing but a large number of electrons flowing through air all at once, releasing a huge amount of energy.

Scientists have also learned how to generate, or create, electricity. This is useful because electricity that is generated can be controlled and sent through wires. It can then power such things as heaters, light bulbs, and computers.

what is electricity

Today, electricity provides most of the energy to run the modern world. Everything in the universe is made of tiny objects called atoms. Each atom has even tinier particles called protons and electrons.

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These tiny particles swirl around each other continuously. An electron has what is called a negative charge. A proton has a positive charge.

Positive and negative charges try to pull each other together. However, two positive charges, or two negative charges, will push each other away. Electricity results when electrons are pushed and pulled from atom to atom. Most objects have a balance of positive and negative charges, so they are considered neutral. This means that they do not push or pull on each other electrically.

However, sometimes electrons can build up in an object. Two such objects can push or pull on each other because they are no longer neutral. This push or pull from extra electrons is called static electricity. Static electricity can cause interesting effects, such as sparks or lightning bolts, when it is released. Sometimes the extra electrons build up by rubbing one object against another. Because the hairs then all have extra electrons, which all have the same kind of charge, they try to fly away from each other and end up sticking into the air like spikes!

Many moving electrons are called an electric current. The electricity used for lighting, heating, and running appliances is made by machines called generators. Generators cause a current to flow by moving a magnet past a coil of wire, which pushes electrons through the wires of the coil.

Wires carrying the current travel to houses and other buildings. More wires connect to the power outlets in rooms. When a person plugs in an iron or another electric device, the current travels into the device. The current then makes the device work. A chemical reaction in a battery can also produce an electric current. The ancient Greeks were the first to study electric forces. In the American colonies during the s, Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is a form of electricity.

Scientists later learned that electricity is related to magnetism. They then learned how to generate electricity using magnets.To save this word, you'll need to log in.

Johnson, Ars Technica"Few exceptions to the rule that going electric reduces emissions," 25 Mar. Send us feedback. See more words from the same year Dictionary Entries near electricity electric hygrometer electrician electric iron electricity electric lamp electric light electric light bug.

Accessed 15 Apr. Keep scrolling for more More Definitions for electricity electricity. Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible. What does capricious mean? Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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Electricity

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Definition of electricity. Examples of electricity in a Sentence The electricity went off during the storm. First Known Use of electricityin the meaning defined at sense 1a. Keep scrolling for more. Learn More about electricity. Time Traveler for electricity The first known use of electricity was in See more words from the same year.

Dictionary Entries near electricity electric hygrometer electrician electric iron electricity electric lamp electric light electric light bug See More Nearby Entries. More Definitions for electricity. English Language Learners Definition of electricity. Kids Definition of electricity. Comments on electricity What made you want to look up electricity? Get Word of the Day daily email! Test Your Vocabulary.The physical phenomena arising from the behavior of electrons and protons that is caused by the attraction of particles with opposite charges and the repulsion of particles with the same charge.

General Physics any phenomenon associated with stationary or moving electrons, ions, or other charged particles. General Physics an electric current or charge: a motor powered by electricity.

The collection of physical effects resulting from the existence of charged particles, especially electrons and protons, and their interactions. Particles with like charges repel each other. Particles with opposite charges attract each other. The electric current generated by the flow of electrons around a circuit and used as a source of power. Switch to new thesaurus. Related words fear electrophobia. The atmosphere in the theatre was electric. Is this machine electrically operated?

The electrician mended the electric fan. The news electrified us. Mentioned in? References in classic literature? Until now, its dynamic force has remained under restraint, and has only been able to produce a small amount of power. Electricity produces heat, heat produces electricity. View in context. He was a teacher of acoustics and a student of electricitypossibly the only man in his generation who was able to focus a knowledge of both subjects upon the problem of the telephone.

I must learn a trade, and I decided on electricity. The need for electricians was constantly growing. It flies nineteen million times faster than the best race-horse; and yet electricity is quicker still.

What is electricity?

We admit the existence of electricityof which we know nothing. Before this I was not unacquainted with the more obvious laws of electricity. On this occasion a man of great research in natural philosophy was with us, and excited by this catastrophe, he entered on the explanation of a theory which he had formed on the subject of electricity and galvanism, which was at once new and astonishing to me.

Electricity seems destined to play a most important part in the arts and industries. The magnetic energy, as developed in the mariner's needle, is, as all know, essentially one with the electricity beheld in heaven; hence it is not to be much marvelled at, that such things should be.

I have no objection to any amount of blue sky in its proper place it can be found at the level for practically twelve months out of the yearbut I submit, with all deference to the educational needs of Transylvania, that "skylarking" in the centre of a main-travelled road where, at the best of times, electricity literally drips off one's stanchions and screw blades, is unnecessary.

The whole family were soon reduced to a state of perfect quiet; for the virtue of this medicine, like that of electricityis often communicated through one person to many others, who are not touched by the instrument. Dictionary browser? Full browser?Electricity is a form of energy. Electricity is the flow of electrons. All matter is made up of atoms, and an atom has a center, called a nucleus.

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The nucleus contains positively charged particles called protons and uncharged particles called neutrons. The nucleus of an atom is surrounded by negatively charged particles called electrons.

The negative charge of an electron is equal to the positive charge of a proton, and the number of electrons in an atom is usually equal to the number of protons. When the balancing force between protons and electrons is upset by an outside force, an atom may gain or lose an electron. When electrons are "lost" from an atom, the free movement of these electrons constitutes an electric current.

Electricity is a basic part of nature and it is one of our most widely used forms of energy. We get electricity, which is a secondary energy source, from the conversion of other sources of energy, like coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear power and other natural sources, which are called primary sources.

what is electricity

Many cities and towns were built alongside waterfalls a primary source of mechanical energy that turned water wheels to perform work. Before electricity generation began slightly over years ago, houses were lit with kerosene lamps, food was cooled in iceboxes, and rooms were warmed by wood-burning or coal-burning stoves. Prior toelectricity had been used in arc lights for outdoor lighting. The lightbulb's invention used electricity to bring indoor lighting to our homes.

The transformer allowed electricity to be efficiently transmitted over long distances. This made it possible to supply electricity to homes and businesses located far from the electric generating plant. Despite its great importance in our daily lives, most of us rarely stop to think what life would be like without electricity.

Yet like air and water, we tend to take electricity for granted. Electricity is a controllable and convenient form of energy used in the applications of heat, light and power. Today, the United States U. An electric generator is a device for converting mechanical energy into electrical energy. The process is based on the relationship between magnetism and electricity. When a wire or any other electrically conductive material moves across a magnetic field, an electric current occurs in the wire.

The large generators used by the electric utility industry have a stationary conductor. A magnet attached to the end of a rotating shaft is positioned inside a stationary conducting ring that is wrapped with a long, continuous piece of wire. When the magnet rotates, it induces a small electric current in each section of wire as it passes. Each section of wire constitutes a small, separate electric conductor.

All the small currents of individual sections add up to one current of considerable size. This current is what is used for electric power. An electric utility power station uses either a turbine, engine, water wheel, or other similar machine to drive an electric generator or a device that converts mechanical or chemical energy to electricity.

Steam turbines, internal-combustion engines, gas combustion turbines, water turbines, and wind turbines are the most common methods to generate electricity.

How ELECTRICITY works - working principle

A turbine converts the kinetic energy of a moving fluid liquid or gas to mechanical energy. Steam turbines have a series of blades mounted on a shaft against which steam is forced, thus rotating the shaft connected to the generator. In a fossil-fueled steam turbine, the fuel is burned in a furnace to heat water in a boiler to produce steam.

Did you know that coal is the largest single primary source of energy used to generate electricity in the United States?

Natural gas, in addition to being burned to heat water for steam, can also be burned to produce hot combustion gases that pass directly through a turbine, spinning the blades of the turbine to generate electricity. Gas turbines are commonly used when electricity utility usage is in high demand. Petroleum can also be used to make steam to turn a turbine. Residual fuel oil, a product refined from crude oil, is often the petroleum product used in electric plants that use petroleum to make steam.Dictionary Term of the Day Articles Subjects.

Business Dictionary. Toggle navigation. Uh oh! You're not signed up. Close navigation. Related Terms. A type of energy fueled by the transfer of electrons from positive and negative points within a conductor. Electricity is widely used for providing power to buildings, electric devices, and even some automobiles. A number of individuals are responsible for the development of electricity, but the most notable one is Benjamin Franklin and his flying kite experiment.

Franklin was able to determine that lightning was a form of electrical discharge. American wire g Use 'electricity' in a Sentence When the electricity got shut off because of an unpaid bill, Henry had to visit his friend's house to use the microwave and charge his cell phone. Basic amenities in the United States these days often include electricityhowever there are still some remote regions of the United States that do not have reliable access to electricity.

The lightening that you often see in a night sky during a thunderstorm is an example of a natural form of electricity. Show More Examples. You Also Might Like Ravinder Kapur. How to Create a Disaster Plan. Small businesses suffer great losses whenever there is a natural catastrophe. In addition to damaging property, hurricanes and floods can lead to lost financial and customer records. Your business operations may be shut down for days on end, Read more.

Projecting Start Up Costs for a Business. How to Handle Office Politics. Leo Sun. How to Be Environmentally Conscious in a Small All over the world, businesses have become more accountable for their carbon footprints, and have taken measures to appear "green" to the media and investors.

Conserving energy can save your company considerable expenses in utility bills as well Setting an Annual Budget for your Business.

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Notable Quotable A Perspective on the Internet.What is Electricity? Electricity is not only a basic part of nature. It is also one of the most widely used forms of energy.

The electricity that we use is a secondary energy source because it is produced by converting primary sources of energy such as coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, solar energy, and wind energy into electrical power. Primary energy sources are renewable or nonrenewable energy, but the electricity we use is neither renewable nor nonrenewable.

electricity

Despite its great importance in daily life, few people probably stop to think about what life would be like without electricity. Like air and water, people tend to take electricity for granted. But people use electricity to do many jobs every day—from lighting, heating, and cooling homes to powering televisions and computers.

Before electricity became widely available about years ago, candles, whale oil lamps, and kerosene lamps provided light, iceboxes kept food cold, and wood-burning or coal-burning stoves provided heat. Scientists and inventors have worked to decipher the principles of electricity since the s.

Benjamin Franklin demonstrated that lightning is electricity.

what is electricity

Thomas Edison invented the first long-lasting incandescent light bulb. Prior todirect current DC electricity had been used in arc lights for outdoor lighting. In the late s, Nikola Tesla pioneered the generation, transmission, and use of alternating current AC electricity, which reduced the cost of transmitting electricity over long distances.

Tesla's inventions brought electricity into homes to power indoor lighting and into factories to power industrial machines. Electricity is the flow of electrically charged particles such as electrons or protonseither statically as an accumulation of charge or dynamically as a electrical current.

All matter is made up of atoms, and an atom has a center, called a nucleus. The nucleus contains positively charge electricity particles called protons and uncharged particles called neutrons. The nucleus of an atom is surrounded by negatively charged particles called electrons. The negative charge is measured as electrons moved equal to the positive charge of a proton, and the number of electrons in an atom is usually equal to the number of protons.

When the balancing force between protons and electrons is upset by an outside force, an atom may gain or lose an electron. When electrons are "lost" from an atom, the free movement of these electrons constitutes an electric current.

Power is a basic part of nature and it is one of our most widely used forms of energy. We get power, which is a secondary energy source, from the conversion of other sources of energy, like coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear power and other natural sources, which are called primary sources. Electricity utilities keep electric flowing 4 hours a day, to a nation thirsty for electric power.

Many cities and towns were built alongside waterfalls a primary source of mechanical energy that turned water wheels to perform work. Before power generation began slightly over years ago, houses were lit with kerosene lamps, food was cooled in iceboxes, and rooms were warmed by wood-burning or coal-burning stoves. Beginning with Benjamin Franklin's experiment with a kite one stormy night in Philadelphia, the principles of power gradually became understood.

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Prior topower had been used in arc lights for outdoor lighting.Electricityphenomenon associated with stationary or moving electric charges.

Electric charge is a fundamental property of matter and is borne by elementary particles.

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In electricity the particle involved is the electronwhich carries a charge designated, by convention, as negative. Thus, the various manifestations of electricity are the result of the accumulation or motion of numbers of electrons.

Electrostatics is the study of electromagnetic phenomena that occur when there are no moving charges—i. Charges reach their equilibrium positions rapidly because the electric force is extremely strong. The mathematical methods of electrostatics make it possible to calculate the distributions of the electric field and of the electric potential from a known configuration of charges, conductorsand insulators.

Conversely, given a set of conductors with known potentials, it is possible to calculate electric fields in regions between the conductors and to determine the charge distribution on the surface of the conductors. The electric energy of a set of charges at rest can be viewed from the standpoint of the work required to assemble the charges; alternatively, the energy also can be considered to reside in the electric field produced by this assembly of charges.

Finally, energy can be stored in a capacitor ; the energy required to charge such a device is stored in it as electrostatic energy of the electric field.

Static electricity is a familiar electric phenomenon in which charged particles are transferred from one body to another. For example, if two objects are rubbed together, especially if the objects are insulators and the surrounding air is dry, the objects acquire equal and opposite charges and an attractive force develops between them.

The object that loses electrons becomes positively charged, and the other becomes negatively charged. The force is simply the attraction between charges of opposite sign. Figure 1 shows the force on Q 1 due to Q 2. A numerical example will help to illustrate this force.

The charge Q 1 is located at coordinates xyz with values of 0. All coordinates are given in metres. Thus, the distance between Q 1 and Q 2 is 0. The magnitude of the force F on charge Q 1 as calculated using equation 1 is 3. The force F can be expressed in terms of its components along the x and y axes, since the force vector lies in the x y plane. This is done with elementary trigonometry from the geometry of Figure 1and the results are shown in Figure 2.

In Cartesian coordinates, this would result in a change of the signs of both the x and y components of the force in equation 2. How can this electric force on Q 1 be understood? Fundamentally, the force is due to the presence of an electric field at the position of Q 1. The field is caused by the second charge Q 2 and has a magnitude proportional to the size of Q 2. In interacting with this field, the first charge some distance away is either attracted to or repelled from the second charge, depending on the sign of the first charge.

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