Electric current is the movement of electrons through a conductor wire. Electric current refers to the number of charges which move through the wire per second. Also, we may say that the electric current is the flow of electrons through a complete electric circuit of conductors. Current electricity is in use to power everything from our house lights, trains, industries etc. Therefore, electricity is one of the forms of energy. It is the flow of electrons whereas the current is the combination of flow of charge per unit time. This article will explain the current electricity basic concept and related facts.
Introduction to Current Electricity
With the variety of context, this word may refer to “electric charge”, “electric power” or the “electric energy”. We are generating the current electricity by the following methods.
- By moving a metal wire through the magnetic field. It generates both alternating current and direct current.
- By a battery through chemical reactions happening inside it. It generates only a direct current.
Atoms are having three types of particles – protons, electrons and neutrons. Protons and Neutrons exist within the centre of the atom i.e. Nucleus. Whereas, the electrons move around the nucleus. These electrons are also having some energy. Neutrons are having neutral charge and protons are positively charged.
Electrons are negatively charged. Electrons circles the nucleus as opposite charges protons and electrons attract each other. The electrons move from one atom to the other atom. Thus electricity is produced when protons and electrons interact with each other with further movement. Electricity is of the two types- Static Electricity and Current Electricity.
Atoms in the conductor consist of free electrons which move gently. This movement of these electrons in the atoms is irregular and undirected. It means, there is no flow in any particular direction. With the voltage to the conductor, these free electrons move in the same direction and hence creates current. Thus, the current is the flow of electrons i.e. the charged particles through a conducting medium.
History of Current Electricity
Thales has introduced the concept of electric power in nature. He discovered the notion of static electricity by rubbing amber with the section of fur. Amber is the fossilized wood. When amber rubbed with fur or cloth, then it will attract small pieces of dust and others. Due to this, other objects are caused by the effect of static electricity. This word has the origin of ‘Elektron’ which means amber. It was discovered by William Gilbert, who also invented the science of magnetism.
Later Benjamin Franklin stated that electric charge is of two forms, which are positive and negative. His kite experiment proved that lightning is static electricity. Electric Current was not fully considered up to the time batteries were designed. Further, Alessandro Volta invented the electric battery.
Michael Faraday was another great scientist who has made major discoveries in this field. He invented the concept of electromagnetic induction. He found out that varying magnetic fields are capable to produce the electricity in the electric circuit. Also, he mentioned that kinetic energy can be converted further into electrical energy using the property of electromagnetic induction. This principle is useful in the electric transformer and generator.
Thomas Alva Edison was a great scientist, who invented the electric bulb. The invention of the bulb was an important point in the field of electricity. HE invented the concept of the direct current system of generating power. Further, Nikola Tesla invented the alternating current system and hence he developed ac motor.
Static Electricity and Current Electricity:
- Static Electricity
Consider two objects which are rubbed together. Then one material gives up electrons and the other one collects those electrons. The one leaving the electrons becomes more positively charged. Whereas the other one which receives the electrons becomes more negatively charged. This accumulation of more charge is termed as Static Electricity. This static electricity has a high voltage and low current.
Lightning is one of the popular examples of static electricity. It is possible due to the attractions of opposite charges which forms by the friction between the air, water droplets and the ice particles. Static electricity is in use in Xerox machines, laser printers, crystal microphones etc. Sometimes electric shock may appear while touching an object with a high electric charge.
- Current Electricity
As we saw that Electrical Current is the flow of charged particles. It means the flow of charges will be constant in the current electricity. The electrons in the current flow from negative to positive. This is because the electrons flow in its opposite direction. Also, the electric current flows from higher electric potential to lower electric potential. In the DC electric charge flows in one direction. But, in AC the direction of the electric charge changes sporadically. DC current is possible from cell or battery. AC current is possible from the AC generator and mains.
Some facts about Current Electricity:
- Electricity is the flow of electrons in any material.
- Electricity is of two kind – Static electricity and Current electricity.
- The word electricity is taken from ‘Elektron’ which means amber.
- William Gilbert introduced the concept of electromagnetism thoroughly.
- Benjamin Franklin conducted the kite experiment and gave the concept of static electricity.
- The Electric bulb was invented by Thomas Alva Edison with the contribution in the field of electricity.
- Nikola Tesla gave the concept of the alternating current, whereas Thomas Edison invented the direct current.
- Static electricity is the collection of more charge while rubbing them altogether.
- Electrical current is nothing but the flow of charged particles in a circuit.
- An electric circuit consists of the conductor, load, switch and power source.
- Voltage is the electrical potential difference between any two endpoints in the circuit.
- Resistance is the ability for controlling the flow of electrons in any circuit.
- Ohm’s law is very important in the field of electricity. It established the relationship between voltage (V), current (I) and the resistance (R). It is V = I R.
FAQs about Current Electricity
Q.1: What is the main cause of electric current?
Solution: A sufficient electromotive force or voltage, will produce the charge imbalance. It will cause further for electrons to move through a conductor like an electric current.
Q.2: Define the electric charge.
Solution: Electrons and protons carry an electric charge or electrical charge within an atom. Therefore there are two types of electrical charges: positive and negative
Q.3: How to produce electricity?
Solution: Power plants are converting the resources like oil, coal, water, sun, wind and natural gas into the electricity. For this conversion, high-pressure water or steam activators are used to move the turbine, attached with the generator. This turning movement rotates a large magnet inside of loops of wire in the generator. With the spinning magnet inside the coils of wire, electricity generates.
Q.4: How electricity reached to us?
Solution: After the production of electricity through a power plant. Further, it is delivered to the substation via some power grid of high-voltage transmission lines. Here, the voltage is reduced and the electricity travels from there to our houses. Thus, it is done through overhead or underground distribution lines.