Benjamin Franklin did a lot of electricity research in the 18th century. He invented the lightning rod amongst many other discoveries. Lightning rods protect buildings if lightning strikes. It takes the lightning bolt and moves it through a grounded wire. Electricity travels at the speed of light. Can you even begin to imagine that?
A spark of static electricity can measure up to 3, volts. A bolt of lightning can measure up to 3,, volts, and it lasts less than one second!
Michael Faraday (1791-1867)
One single lightning bolt can light up powerful lamps for an entire day, or make lots and lots of toast, in fact a couple of thousand pieces of toast. Now that is hot, hot, hot! A megawatt natural gas plant can power , homes. Now this will amaze you. Electric eels can produce strong electric shocks of around volts. They use this to hunt and to protect themselves too. A popular way to create electricity is through something called hydropower.
Hydropower is a process where electricity is made by water which spins turbines attached to generators.
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Pretty neat! Furnaces — an enclosed structure that makes things very hot. Turbines — this is a machine that creates continuous power in which a wheel, or something similar, moves round and round by a fast-moving flow of water, steam, gas or air. Generators — a machine that converts energy into electricity.
Volts — the size of the force that sends electrons through a circuit. Megawatt — this is a unit of power that is equal to 1,, watts and is a measure of how much electricity a power station makes. Fuses — these are safety devices. A fuse is a strip of wire that melts and breaks an electric circuit if it goes over a safe level. So now you know all about electricity! How about using this information for a school project or telling your friends and parents all the information you now know.
This is another type of electricity which happens when an electrical charge build up on the surface of an object. Read more about static electricity here! In electricity became viable for use in technology when Michael Faraday created the electric dynamo a crude power generator , which solved the problem of generating electric current in an ongoing and practical way.
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This opened the door to American Thomas Edison and British scientist Joseph Swan who each invented the incandescent filament light bulb in their respective countries in about Previously, light bulbs had been invented by others, but the incandescent bulb was the first practical bulb that would light for hours on end. Swan and Edison later set up a joint company to produce the first practical filament lamp, and Edison used his direct-current system DC to provide power to illuminate the first New York electric street lamps in September He worked with Edison and later had many revolutionary developments in electromagnetism, and had competing patents with Marconi for the invention of radio.
He is well known for his work with alternating current AC , AC motors, and the polyphase distribution system. Others who worked to bring the use of electricity to where it is today include Scottish inventor James Watt, Andre Ampere, a French mathematician, and German mathematician and physicist George Ohm.
How Did We Find Out about Electricity? by Isaac Asimov
And so, it was not just one person who discovered electricity. While the concept of electricity was known for thousands of years, when it came time to develop it commercially and scientifically, there were several great minds working on the problem at the same time. We have written many articles about electricity for Universe Today. Listen here, Episode Electromagnetism. I note there has to be an anode and a cathode to draw power from a battery.
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If that spark came in contact with a flammable Greek Fire? Actually, the early Byzantines made something very similar! Byzantine hand grenades with Greek fire in the 10th to 12th centuries are on display in the National Museum at Athens. The use of Greek fire, or rather variants thereof, spread to Muslim armies in the Near East, from where it reached China by the 10th century.
SciFi short story subject: In the not too distant future our sciences find a way to peer back into time. Soon after we conquer time travel itself.
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