Energy can be described as an ability to do work. Energy comes in two main forms: chemical energy and kinetic energy.
Chemical energy is simply the amount of energy that molecules have due to their structure. For example, glucose has more chemical energy than water because each molecule contains twelve atoms while one atom of hydrogen or oxygen needs only one. Glucose also stores energy more efficiently than water since it does not need extra hydrogen ions to stabilize its shape.
Kinetic energy is the energy molecules contain because they are moving around. All matter is made up of particles called electrons that circle a nucleus (the center) at a very high speed. This electron speed is what gives rise to many of our materials’ properties such as color and reflectivity of objects.
When these fast moving electrons collide with other electrons or nuclei, they lose some of their momentum and go into a new orbit with lower velocity. These lost electrons are stored in the object, leaving less space for them to move around within the material. When enough time passes, they come out and you get colors and shifts in the light when illuminated.
We create most of our internal chemical energy from food we eat! As long as we stay awake we will continue to use this chemical energy to fuel our body’s processes.
We now know what an electrical charge is, but why is it important?
In fact, there’s no real reason for it to exist at all!
A negative electrical charge would not really do anything, and a positive one would pull everything in its path towards itself.
So, if we could create lots of electrons then nothing would work properly! For example, your smartphone wouldn’t be able to connect to WiFi or Bluetooth technology, computers would not function, and even sparks would become much more likely.
That’s why things like refrigerators, light bulbs, and some batteries don’t have free flowing electrons – they were built with special insulation that prevent them from getting too close to each other.
When something loses electrons, it becomes an electron deficient atom, or electrically neutral. This is what happens when lightning strikes a metal surface, for instance, or you rip off a layer of plastic coating a gadget.
Understanding electricity goes beyond just its practical applications or its tangible presence in our daily lives. The history and origins of electricity trace back thousands of years, and understanding this history can deepen our appreciation for this force of nature.
Ancient civilizations were aware of various forms of electricity. For example, the Egyptians were possibly the first to observe electric fish or rays, and even coined a term that translates to “Thunderer of the Nile,” describing the sensation of being shocked by these creatures. The Greeks discovered static electricity when rubbing fur against amber, noticing that it would attract light materials like feathers.
But it wasn't until the 1600s and 1700s when significant progress was made in understanding electricity. Pioneers like Benjamin Franklin, Luigi Galvani, and Michael Faraday made groundbreaking discoveries, from demonstrating the electrical nature of lightning to generating electricity using magnets.
These trailblazers laid the groundwork for the inventions and technological advancements that define modern life, demonstrating the potential and power of electrical energy.
We now have enough technology to perform amazing feats, from powering our homes to exploring space!
There are so many ways that energy is transferred in nature, it’s hard to know where to start. All living things require energy to exist, and there are several possible sources including external factors, chemical reactions, and electrical forces.
When we talk about energy in relation to biology, two main categories get added onto the list – electrochemical (or electric) potential and chemical potential.
Electric potential comes from ions in solution being displaced by charges on adjacent molecules or atoms, converting kinetic energy into internal molecular motion. This occurs when an atom loses electrons, gaining them from another molecule, wire, or source. Ions also gain electrons, taking them from other atoms or materials with excess electrons.
Chemical potential refers to changes in free energy due to shifts in the concentration of substances, most commonly gases. When these gasses interact, they can lose or give away electrons, which decreases or increases their electronegativity.
We experience this every time you pour sugar into hot water: The glucose molecules gain electrons, creating a positively charged solid called sucrose. Chemists use the term ‘electron affinity’ to describe how easily an electron will leave a given substance.
A high electron affinity means it takes little effort for electrons to escape, making the material more like a vacuum than a doughy nugget of sugar.
Just as essential as understanding electricity's potential and applications is comprehending the importance of electrical safety. An errant current, mishandled equipment, or faulty wiring can lead to severe consequences.
Yearly, thousands of people get injured due to electrical accidents, many of which could have been avoided with proper knowledge and precautions. Electrical fires, caused by issues like overloaded circuits or outdated wiring, are a common threat that can devastate homes and businesses.
Preventative measures include regularly checking the condition of wiring in homes, understanding the limitations of electrical outlets, and being aware of water sources when using electrical appliances. Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) are crucial in areas where water is present, like bathrooms or kitchens, to protect against electrical shock.
Properly storing and disposing of batteries, especially lithium-ion batteries, is another safety consideration. These can pose fire risks if punctured or disposed of carelessly.
In industries where heavy machinery operates, the importance of electrical safety is even more pronounced. Workers are trained extensively to understand the risks and necessary precautions when dealing with high-powered electrical equipment.
In summary, while electricity offers countless benefits and conveniences, it must be respected and handled with care. Educating oneself about electrical safety can prevent accidents, save lives, and ensure that we continue to benefit from this incredible force responsibly.
A few years ago, there was a buzz in the science community when scientists discovered that something special happens at very high energy levels.
This new phenomenon is called “electro-magnetism” or sometimes referred to as “electricity beyond electric charge.”
Some experts call it the “fifth fundamental force of nature.”
It sounds crazy but this new concept has huge applications for technology.
We use electrical energy every day, in fact we depend on it to survive!
We rely on electricity for things like running computers, communicating via phone lines or email, powering lights, appliances, and even cars. In recent years, there has been an increase in uses of electricity that focus not only on using less power, but also producing more powerful energy from sources such as wind, solar, and hydroelectricity.
These types of renewable energies are very attractive because you don’t have to worry about what kind of oil or gas you will run out of one day! And although mining coal and drilling for natural gas can be harmful to our environment, we still need lots of them to produce enough energy to satisfy our demands.
There is one type of energy that people are just starting to explore, though, which some call “green” energy. This is when you take matter and atoms away from empty space and put them together to generate energy. You probably know examples of this already – water flows down mountains, air moves through the atmosphere, and so forth.
With green energy, you start with something called a source —like sunlight or wind—and then manipulate it into something else. For example, photovoltaic cells work by taking excess energy from light and converting it directly into electric current. A second stage is to capture that current and store it (batteries).
Many well-known individuals can be credited with creating or discovering something that has changed mankind for the better. Technology has made our lives easier in innumerable ways, from changing how we communicate to altering the way we live.
Many celebrities have made significant contributions by coming up with new concepts or inventions such as using plastic bags instead of cloth towels, developing the personal computer, designing incredible jewelry, and more.
Influential artists have influenced generations through painting, sculpture, and music. The process of creative expression allows us to explore different sides of ourselves and helps us find deeper meanings to things.
And of course, there’s money! Billions of dollars are raised every year for charities due to the existence of online giving.
We need look no further than what technology has done for us already to realize the vast potential it holds. Emerging technologies like blockchain and quantum computing will undoubtedly change the world even more in the years to come.
Many people know what is needed to create an electric current in a circuit, but fewer know why this process is so special.
Most of us take electrical power for granted. We usually don’t think about how energy is transferred from one place to another or possible applications of this transfer.
But understanding why something is special is important because it helps you appreciate the way electricity is used in technology today.
It also helps develop your knowledge of physics by looking at how energy is transformed as heat or light.
In this article, we will look at some examples of things that contain enough electricity to light up a small bulb, and why they do so.
We will then discuss why electrons move around when things get more complex.
We now live in an electronic age where everything is connected to electricity. It’s very common to find things that require electricity for work, function or survival.
Many of these gadgets have technology built into it so that it can be powered up automatically when needed-think smart phones, tablets, laptops, televisions and house alarms.
Some devices need only a small amount of power to do their job so they are usually turned off (or sleep mode) most of the time to conserve energy.
It is important to recognize how much energy all of these appliances and gadgets use because you will want to know how to save energy!
This article will talk about five interesting facts about electricity that might surprise you.
We already mentioned that exposure to electric current can be harmful, but there is one specific type of electricity that is especially dangerous for kids. That’s why experts suggest keeping all gadgets away from children under the age of 13.
This includes phones (which we discussed earlier), game consoles, laptops, televisions, you name it!
The reason? Children under this age don’t fully understand how powerful electricity is. Plus, they may not realize the effects it could have if someone else gave them access to it.
That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends leaving these items in a place where adults can watch your child while they’re using them.
If possible, also keep these devices off of the table or counter where children can reach them. Because even small amounts of electricity can still pose health risks for young ones, exposing themselves to just enough power to use the device can be very damaging.
Experts say that time should be limited to less than an hour at a time.