Explainer: What is Electricity?

What is electricity: Electricity is a set of phenomena produced by movement and the interaction between positive and negative electric charges on bodies.That is, electricity is a force that results from the attraction or repulsion between particles that contain positive
and negative electrical charge, and it can manifest itself both at rest (static) and in motion.Electricity is also the branch of physics that studies this type of electrical phenomena.

The word electricity comes from the Latin electrum and in turn from the Greek élektron (ήλεκτρον), which means ‘amber’. It is related to electricity because amber is a resin that, when rubbed, acquires electrical properties.

Electricity characteristics

It is a phenomenon in which the following characteristic elements are manifested

Electric charge: property of subatomic particles that is expressed in the attraction and repulsion between them through the electromagnetic field.
Electric field: it is the physical field in which the interaction between the electric charges of the bodies is inscribed.
Electric current: refers to the movement of electric charges, that is, it is the flow of electric charges that are distributed or propagated through an electrically conductive material.
Electric potential: refers to the potential of work or effort necessary in an electrostatic field to set a positive charge in motion from one point to another.
Magnetism: one of the ways in which electricity manifests itself is through magnetism since it is a type of electrical current that produces magnetic fields. These, in turn, can produce electrical currents.

Obtaining electricity
Electricity comes from the so-called primary energies. Therefore, electricity is a secondary energy source. The primary energies that participate in the generation of electricity can be of two types:

Non-renewable energies, such as coal, oil, and natural gas.
Renewable energies, which come from natural sources such as the sun, wind, and water, among others. That is, they correspond to the wind, hydroelectric, tidal, solar, geothermal, wave energy, etc.
Primary energies are processed in power plants to obtain energy (thermoelectric, hydroelectric, solar plants, etc.). This energy starts a turbine system that generates electrical energy.

The energy produced is received in transformers, which allow the distribution of electricity to an electrical voltage system or power lines.

From that point on, electricity is managed by the electricity distribution companies for commercialization.

There are various types of electricity. Let’s get to know the most important of them.

Static electricity:
Static electricity is a phenomenon that arises in a body that has electrical charges at rest. Normally bodies are neutral (same number of positive and negative charges), but when they are electrified they can acquire a positive or negative electrical charge. One of the ways to get static electricity is through rubbing.

The process by which a body acquires a charge is called electrostatic induction. Electrically charged bodies of the same type repel each other and different types attract. Some examples of materials with a tendency to lose electrons are cotton, glass, and wool. Some materials with a tendency to capture electrons are metals such as silver, gold, and copper.

For example, lightning. In everyday life, we can see static energy when we rub a balloon on a wool surface.

Dynamic electricity:
Dynamic electricity is produced by a permanent source of electricity that causes the permanent circulation of electrons through a conductor. These permanent sources of electricity can be chemical or electromechanical.

An example of dynamic electricity is that which exists in an electrical circuit that uses a battery or dynamo as its source of electricity.

Electromagnetism or electromagnetic electricity refers to electrical energy that is stored in space due to the presence of a magnetic field. This type of energy spreads or diffuses as radiation.

As an example, we can mention radio and television signals, infrared radiation, and waves from the domestic microwave oven.

Uses of electricity:
Electricity has many uses. The most obvious are: generating lighting, heat, movement, and signals, all of which allow benefits and activities of daily use.

For example,

public and household lighting;
the operation of machinery, including electrical appliances;
the air conditioning of closed environments (heating and air conditioning), etc.
Electricity Units
According to the International System (SI), the units that express electricity are:

Volt (V): expresses electromotive force, electric potential, and voltage;
Ampere (A): expresses the intensity of the electric current.
Ohm (Ω): expresses the electrical resistance.
Conductors of electricity
Conductors of electricity are materials that offer little resistance to the passage of electric current. Metals such as copper, silver, gold, and aluminum are conductive materials of electricity. Some compound liquids such as acids, bases, and dissolved salts are also conductors.

Electrical insulators:
Electrical insulators are materials that offer a lot of resistance to the passage of electrical current. Some examples of insulators are plastic, glass, and distilled water.

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