Ballasts, such as those used in fluorescent lighting systems, prevent overheating by limiting the lamp's electrical current, according to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Without a ballast, a lamp would not even be able to start.Know More
Ballasts work as inductors to cause an equilibrium reaction inside the lamp, according to HowStuffWorks. In magnetic ballasts, which are the most simple type, the wire inside the ballast is coiled to amplify the magnetic field generated when electricity travels through the wire. This regulates a fluorescent lamp's electrical current. Other ballast designs use different methods to achieve the same functionality.
When a lamp that relies on gas is turned on, it relies on the ballast to prevent overheating. Electricity heats the filaments inside the bulbs, ionizing the gas. When gas is first ionized, the resulting electrical current spike would cause the lamp to fail if the ballast were not present to limit it, as explained by EngineersGarage.
The ballast also releases the energy it has stored, causing a surge that helps set up the electrical arc running through the gas. In some new fluorescent lamps, the ballast is designed to continuously channel electricity, making it possible for the lamp to rapidly switch on instead of requiring time to warm up.Learn more about Electricity
Electrical shocks that occur when not in contact with a live source of electrical current are most often electrostatic discharges, which are also known as static shock. Frequent occurrences can have various causes, including weather, environment, clothing and whether you are in motion.Full Answer >
Transformers have two sets of wires wound around an iron core, and they use electromagnetic induction to increase or decrease electrical current. The primary wires magnetize the iron after the application of current, and the secondary wires use the magnetic induction to create an output current. The increase or decrease of output current depends on how many times the input and output wires wind around the core.Full Answer >
Tall buildings have lightning conductors to help transport the electrical current from a lightening strike to the ground safely. This protects the structure's electrical equipment and the materials used within the building.Full Answer >
An eddy current is an electrical current induced in a piece of metal due to the relative motion of a nearby magnet. Any time a magnet passes a metallic object, its magnetic field induces an electric current, which swirls around near the surface of the metal like an eddy in a river. This electric current creates its own magnetic field, which opposes the motion of the magnet.Full Answer >