What is electricity?
There is an invisible force that flows inside biological objects and the inanimate environment. This power is called electricity. What is electricity? It is the energy created by the movement and interaction of charged particles. The term "electricity" is derived from the Greek word "electron", which translates as "amber". The ancient Greeks found that by rubbing this stone, you can get a small statistical charge. But people learned to create electric current for their needs only at the beginning of the XIX century.
What is electricity and where does it come from
All non-living objects around us, people and even air are made up of atoms. An atom is a nucleus around which electrons rotate. What is an electron? This is a negatively charged particle that is attracted to the nucleus, but does not connect to it, because it is in constant motion. Electrons neutralize positively charged protons. Therefore, the atom as a whole is electrically neutral.
It is possible to get electricity by directionally moving electrons to another atom. Such a movement is created using a generator's magnetic field, friction, or a chemical reaction in the battery. The basis of the process is the property of attraction of like-charged particles and repulsion of oppositely charged ones.
As a result of the targeted movement of charged particles under the influence of an electric field, a current arises. Electric current can be freely transmitted through some materials called conductors. For example, copper and other metals, water. Materials incapable of conducting electricity are called insulators. Good insulators are wood, plastic, ebonite.
Static electricity is generated as a result of the imbalance of the protons and electrons inside the atom, usually resulting from friction. Another reason for the occurrence of this phenomenon is the contact of two dielectrics, between which there is a potential difference.
In everyday life, a person almost every day is confronted with static electricity.For example, synthetic clothing when wearing and rubbing against the body accumulates a small charge and when you undress you can hear a slight crackle and see sparks. A similar phenomenon occurs when combing hair with a plastic comb. Sources of static electricity in the apartment are household appliances, computers, office equipment. In the process, they electrify the smallest dust particles that are deposited on the floor, furniture, clothing and human skin, and also enter the respiratory tract.
Static electricity adversely affects human health. With prolonged exposure to static charge can cause disruptions in the work of the central nervous and cardiovascular systems, loss of sleep and appetite, irritability, and headaches.
The most striking example of the manifestation of static electricity in nature is lightning. A powerful electrical discharge is formed by the accumulation of electrons in the lower layers of the atmosphere.
Production and use of electricity
The volume of electricity consumption increases every year. It is necessary for heating, room lighting, ensures the operation of industrial enterprises.All household appliances, without which human life is unthinkable, also work on electricity.
The overwhelming amount of electricity for industrial and domestic needs is produced in power plants that generate electricity using generators and transmit it over long distances via power lines. Depending on the energy source, power plants are of three types:
- nuclear - radioactive materials are used as fuel (uranium and plutonium);
- thermal - working on gas, diesel fuel or coal;
- hydroelectric power plants - generator turbines rotate with water flow.
Wind turbines, gas generators and solar batteries are used as alternative sources of electricity.