Electricity

Key points

  • Electricity is a form of energy.
  • Electricity comes from the conversion of energy sources, such as oil, coal and gas.
  • Wind, water and solar energy are sustainable sources that can be used to generate electricity.
  • Electricity is used to power household items but it can also be dangerous.
  • Benjamin Franklin proved lightning is electricity.
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Electricity towers

The facts about electricity


Electricity is the flow of energy. All matter has atoms. Atoms have at their centre a nucleus, containing protons and neutrons. Surrounding the nucleus are electrons. When there is an imbalance of protons and electrons, electrons are released from the atom. This flow is called an electric current.

An electric circuit provides a path for an electric current to follow.
 
Generators are used to change forms of energy, including fossil fuels (coal and oil) and renewable sources (water, wind, and solar), to produce electricity.
 
Electricity is used to power household items but can be harmful to humans, causing burns, electric shock – even death. There are tips you should follow to stay safe, indoors and outdoors.
 
An electric charge that doesn't flow, or move, is called static electricity.

 



History
 

According to the Global Hydrology and Climate Centre, Benjamin Franklin performed the first systematic, scientific study of lightning during the second half of the 18th century.

While others had previously noted the similarity between laboratory sparks and lightning, Franklin was the first to design an experiment which conclusively proved the electrical nature of lightning.

A light bulb uses electricity


Experiments
 

Try these at home:


More information


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