facts about electricity

Do you want to learn some interesting facts about electricity? Here are some quite interesting electricity facts you can look at.

53 Facts About Electricity (For Both Adults and Kids)

In our current world, electricity has become a staple, such that some people don’t even know life without it. Electricity is a major driver of today’s activities, whereby without it, the world’s economy would definitely crumble.

However, despite this form of energy being so prevalent, there are numerous facts about electricity that many people don’t know.

Today we delve more into various facts about electricity, some of which you may be aware of and some of which you maybe not. Apart from just the lighting we see, electricity has so many uses that helps drive the modern lifestyle.

Therefore, this article helps you acquire a completely new perception of this common term, “electricity.”

But first things first. What is electricity?

Definition of Electricity

Electricity is a term used to refer to the presence, as well as the flow of electric charge. Through electricity, we are able to transmit energy that we use t perform various tasks such as lighting, running machines, and devices at home, among others.

The term electricity is, on most occasions, confused by the word “electrical energy.” However, they are completely different terms. In simpler terms, electricity is the medium of transmission for electrical energy, just like water is the medium of a transmission medium for the wave energy.

And, although they are different, they are inseparable.

Different Types of Electricity

When it comes to electricity types, there are two main types of electricity. These includes the following forms of electricity:

  • Static Electricity

I know you’ve probably heard about static electricity and even might have experienced it. Well, this is the form of electricity that occurs when an electrical charge forms on a surface of certain materials. It usually happens when you rub two surfaces together.

For example, I remember when I was a kid, we could rub a piece of a ruler, a pencil, or even a pen on our hair and then use these items to pick up some small pieces of paper.

By then I knew nothing about static electricity, but I definitely knew there was a charge that formed when I rubbed these items on my head.

I came to learn later that when you rub a plastic ruler on your hair, it gains electrons from the hair and becomes negatively charged.

When you pass the ruler over the small pieces of paper, which is neutral, the electrons on the ruler attract the protons on the paper and push away electrons on the paper. This means that the side with protons will stick to the ruler.

  • Current Electricity

When we talk about current electricity, what we refer to is the rate at which the electrons flow from one place to another. The drifting electrons generate the electricity here. This kind of electricity is measured using amperes.

And, unlike in the static electricity, the current electricity has to move through a conductor. An electrical conductor is any material that allows an easy flow of electricity through it. Mostly copper wires are ideal for this purpose.

The measure of the quantity of energy transmitted from one place to another over a certain period is what we call a current. Use our potential energy calculator to determine how much energy can be produced from an object. 

Now that we understand what electricity is, as well as the different types of electricity, let’s jump into other facts about electricity. 

See Related: Guide to Prepaid Electricity

Facts About Current Electricity

  1. The movement of electrons through a conductor causes the conductor to heat up. For example, the heating up of an electric stove is due to the current in the stove.
  2. There multiple sources of current electricity including generators, or a chemical reaction in a battery.
  3. Current electricity can either be in the form of DC (direct current) or AC (alternating current).
  4. The major difference between DC and AC is the direction of the current flow.
  5. Direct current is usually found in batteries such as car batteries and others.
  6. The speed of electricity is almost the same as the speed of light, which is over 186k m/s!
  7. The world’s largest source of energy used for electricity generation is coal. Coal burns to heat furnaces that, in turn, heats and boils water. The boiling water then produces steam that turns turbines connected to generators that produce electricity.
  8. Did you know our bodies are good conductors of electricity? That’s why you easily get a shock when you touch a live electric wire.
  9. Electricity was discovered around 1600 AD by an English scientist known as William Gilbert. Although people about electric eel, Gilbert conducted various experiments both on magnetism and electricity.
  10. William Gilbert was also the one who coined the word electricity.
  11. An electric car uses less energy than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.

Most Important Electricity Facts

  1. The release of electric charge in the atmosphere is what we refer to like lightning. Lightning stroke travels at a speed of around 220,000,000 mph, which around 1/3 of the speed of light.
  2. Lightning can reach a temperature of nearly 54,000 °F.
  3. Two similar charges repel which two opposite charges attract. For example, two negatives or positives will repel, while a negative and a positive will attract.
  4. Electric eels are known to generate electric shocks of about 500 volts. They use this charge either for hunting or self-defense.
  5. Why don’t birds get electrocuted when they sit on electric power lines? The reason is that one doesn’t complete a circuit. If by any chance, the bird touches another wire while still touching the other, it will complete a circuit and get electrocuted.
  6. Are you aware that even in our bodies we have some electricity? Some organs, like the heart, beat because of electricity. It is electricity that causes the muscles of the heart to contract. This is clearly shown through an ECG machine as it displays a line with regular spikes, moving across the screen.
  7. Just like gravity, electric fields work the same way. However, while gravity always attracts, an electric field, on the other hand, can either repulse or attract.
  8. In the 18th century, Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod. This helps protect a building in the event that a lightning strike. The rod will conduct the lightning charge to the ground through a wire, and keep the building safe.

See Related: Energy Conservation Guide

Electricity Facts For Kids

  1. The electric charge that builds up in one location is referred to as static electricity, while the electric charge that moves from one place to the other is known as current electricity.
  2. We measure the electric potential energy in volts, and electric current in amps(amperes)
  3. Static electricity forms on surfaces of various objects when we rub them against each other.
  4. Thomas Edison was the owner of the first-ever power plant in New York, which was established in 1882.
  5. Most of the inventions in electricity we use today, such as fuses, meters, switches, and more, all came from Thomas Edison. He came up with over 2000 inventions.
  6. A single static electricity spark can measures around 3,000 volts on average.
  7. A single bolt of lightning lasts for less than a second and can measure as much as 3,000,000 volts.
  8. Did you know that one bolt of lightning has enough power to light up around 100 lamps for a whole day? Well, it’s that strong. Better still, the energy it possesses can make several thousand toasts.
  9. Have you ever heard of an electric eel? If you have, this fish can produce a powerful electric shock of about 500V. This is quite powerful and can leave even a human with serious injuries.
  10. Voltage is the amount of force that makes electrons travel through a circuit.
  11. A watt is a unit of power that measures how much power a device needs to operate.
  12. A megawatt refers to 1,000,000 watts and usually used to measure the amount of electricity produced in a power station.
  13. Electrons in DC travel in the same direction while electrons in alternating current, change direction from time to time.

Home Electricity Facts

  1. In our homes, we mostly use AC (alternating current) to light bulbs, run devices, and electronics such as TVs and charge phones.
  2. Heating and cooling costs make up to around 50% of the normal heating bill for most homes in the U.S.
  3. LED light bulbs consume much less energy than traditional ones. They can consume as little as one-sixth of the total electricity that a conventional bulb uses. However, they are a bit expensive than their counterparts.
  4. In the US, around 20 percent of the country’s electricity comes from nuclear reactors.
  5. An average home in the US consumes an average of 11,000 kWh of electricity every year.
  6. For you to enjoy electricity in your home, it has to travel from the power plants to high voltage switchyards, then through the transmission lines, up to the substations. From there, it goes to the distribution lines, which in turn takes it to a transformer, and finally to your house.
  7. One ceiling light fixture consumes electricity worth approximately $5,000 in its entire lifetime.
  8. In the US, around 75% of their total electricity usage in homes, is through turned off devices. The idle power consumption is a real energy consumer. For example, a desktop can use around 80 watts even when off.
  9. In a light bulb, only around 10% of energy goes to generate light. The rest of the energy goes to generate heat.
  10. Fluorescent light bulbs are more power-efficient than the standard bulbs. They use less energy than the standard bulbs with as much as 80%.

See Related: Best Electricity Puns You’ll Love to Read

Electricity Facts For Adults

  1. The average power that comes out of a taser is around 50,000 volts.
  2. In 1891, William Morrison, who was an American inventor, built the first-ever successful car driven by electricity.
  3. Although fossil fuels form the major source of the world’s electricity, there are also other substantial sources such as water, sun, and wind.
  4. Solar energy is the production of electricity by harnessing the power from the sun.
  5. Wind power is also used to generate a clean source of electricity known as wind energy.
  6. Hydropower is the generation of electricity using the wave power to turn turbines that in turn produces electricity.
  7. A power station refers to a place where electricity is generated before it is transported to our homes for use.
  8. Although Benjamin Franklin wasn’t the one to discover electricity, he was able to demonstrate that lightning is also another form of electricity.
  9. Electricity in Ethiopia was introduced in the year 1896. The funny thing about the introduction of electricity in Ethiopia is that it came after Emperor Menelik II imported electric chairs, which became useless since there was no electricity there.
  10. The word electrocute comes from two words, namely electro and execute. This means that to be electrocuted is to die as a result of an electric shock. If, however, something doesn’t die from the shock, we can’t say that they were electrocuted, but rather they were shocked.
  11. If you’ve ever seen a gecko climb a wall, you may have noticed how easy it seems. What makes this small reptile manage do this is the difference in charges between the surface of its feet, and the surface of the wall. This difference enables it to “stick” on the wall and avoid sliding.

See these helpful tips to help conserve energy.

Conclusion on Facts About Electricity

Whichever the source, all electricity plays a huge role in our everyday lives. These facts about electricity help us to understand more about where electricity comes from, as well as how it affects our lives.

I hope that you find these facts not only entertaining but also helpful.

What other interesting facts about electricity do you have in mind? Kindly share it with us in our comments section.

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