Although knowledge about the existence of electricity existed as early as 600 B.C., it was not until 1600 that William Gilbert published "De magnete, Magneticisique Corporibus," or "On the Magnet" and coined the term "electrica." Before Gilbert, knowledge was limited to that of the magnetic charges of a loadstone and that rubbing an amber or a jet rod with wool caused particles to stick to the rod.Know More
Gilbert's publication inspired other European inventors to work with electricity. The Leyden jar allowed scientists to store static electric charges in a type of capacitor. The stored charge was significant enough that it knocked its inventor, Ewald Christian Von Kleist, to the floor when he initially touched it.
Benjamin Franklin discovered that lightning and electricity were the same phenomenon, which led to the invention of the lightning rod and the first practical use of the growing knowledge about electricity. Alessandro Volta built the first electric pile, a forerunner of the battery, which allowed scientists to conduct simple electrical current experiments. In 1819, Hans Christian Oersted discovered electromagnetic fields. His work led to Michael Faraday's invention of the first crude electrical motor in 1921 and the first generator 10 years later. The first electrical power stations were built approximately 50 years later.Learn more about Electricity
Electrolytic solutions are good liquid conductors of electricity because the solute, an electrolyte, is a substance that easily disassociates into its component ions when it is in an aqueous solution. Electrolyte substances can be grouped into three generalized classes: strong acids, strong bases and soluble salts. An aqueous solution of hydrochloric acid is an example of an electrolytic solution that is an excellent liquid conductor of electricity.Full Answer >
Non-conductors of electricity are also known as insulators. Insulators do not allow a significant amount of electrical current to flow through. Some examples of insulators are glass, rubber and plastic.Full Answer >
Each day electricity plays a key role in keeping homes and businesses running smoothly, powers transportation that take people to work, school and other places, and supplies electricity to appliances in all sectors. The primary use of electricity varies depending on the place where it is used and the nature of the facility. In homes and small offices, approximately 55 percent of electricity consumed is used for appliances and lighting fixtures, while air conditioning units use nearly 25 percent of household electricity.Full Answer >
According to the BBC, potatoes produce electricity by virtue of their acidic juice, which reacts with two electrodes placed in the potato. The chemical reaction produces a weak current between the two electrodes.Full Answer >