What is Electricity?

Essentially, electricity is a form of energy caused by the negative particles called electrons, found in all atoms. Under certain conditions, some of these electrons move from one atom to the next. For instance, when we connect a battery to a copper wire and then to a light bulb, the electrons move from the battery to the copper wire, then to the bulb. However, the exact electon that enters the wire is not the same as the one reaching the bulb.

When an electron enters a copper wire, it adds one-too-many electrons to the copper atoms at the end of the wire. So, the copper atoms one extra electron, causing one other electron to bounce to the next atom of copper, and so on. This “chain reaction” creates an electrical current, or apparent movement of electricity through a wire.

We use electricity to power machines and electrical devices. In this form, the electrons are moving and are called an electric current. When electrons are not moving, this is called static electricity.

Static electricity occurs when the number of electrons of atoms in a material are either more or less than the usual amount. We see electricity in nature as lightning, and as the way some things attract each other and stick together. So, there is electricity in nature, as well as electricity that is manmade.

Scientists found that we can create electricity if we pass a magnet close to a metal wire. This is how our big power generators make electricity. Using any source of heat to create steam, the steam is used to turn a turbine or wheel, which then moves the wires through a magnetic field. By using enormous amounts of wire and huge magnets, power stations can generate millions of watts per hour of electicity.

Electricity comes to our homes through wires from the large power generators where it is made. There, we can use it to heat, cook, wash clothes, and power all our modern appliance and gadgets.

The people who deal with electricity and electrical devices in our homes and factories are called “electricians”.