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Electric Charge and Public Electricity Supply

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Every single day we use electricity to make the things around us work. From the tape player to the electric pumps that send hot water to each of our homes everyday. Without electricity the lights go off, water is not heated, the television goes off, and outside the traffic lights do not work and as a result the city is immediately congested with traffic jams and choke ups in the street. Without that electricity we have everyday the basic things we use do not function. The book I chose to summarize explains and explores how electricity is used by objects such as motors, telephones, computers, tape recorders, flashlights, heaters, etc.

Electricity can be used for different purposes. Ovens turn electricity into heat. Engines use electricity in order to make hot sparks that burn the gasoline. Telephones, tape players and televisions turn electricity into voices, music and pictures. All these objects in some way or some how use electricity to function.

The first public electricity supply was set in Godalming, Surrey, England approximately 100 years ago. A little after another electric supply was set up in New York City. Despite this many people still used gas and oil to light their home and used coal and wood to heat their homes. Fumes and smoke from these methods made buildings and clothes dirty. Due partially to electricity our homes today are much cleaner. It is almost hard to believe that such a strong force such as electricity can come from the smallest thing on the planet earth. Electrons are small little particles that when moving create what we call electricity.

Electricity can be found almost anywhere including our very own bodies. This type of electricity is called electrical current. Electrical current is electricity that moves. A current happens when electrons move through things. Another type of electricity is called static electricity. This happens when electrons collect together in objects. This collection of electrons gives the object a charge and then the charge acts as a force pulling objects together. The force is not very strong because the electrons start to flow back and forth between the objects. As a result the force weakens and the objects lose their charge. Dampness can make it difficult to produce static electricity because dampness stops the electrons from collecting and producing a charge.

Many times the electricity we use in our homes is produced at a power station. Electricity is made by burning some type of fuel to heat water into vapor, which will then push the blades of a turbine. These blades turn a shaft connected to a generator that produces electricity. From the power stations the electricity flows into power lines- thick cables that carry electricity to cities, towns, farms, etc.- that then carry the electricity to transformers. Transformers are machines that control the strength of the current entering our homes. This makes the electricity less harmful to us.

When electricity gets to our homes and we plug our appliances into the wall socket we close a circuit and electrons are allowed to move from the source of the electricity to the object. Afterwards the electrons go back to the source of electricity and picks up energy again. This is the reason for two prongs on a plug or two terminals on a battery. The electrons enter the circuit through the positive side and leave through the negative side.

The light on our ceilings in our homes comes from electricity that flows through a glass bulb that contains a very thin piece wire called a filament-made of a metal called tungsten. When electric current passes through the filament, it gets so hot that it shines bright with light. The filament is put in a glass bulb so that air won’t get to it. Air causes the filament to burn up. Inside there is a gas that doesn’t allow the filament to burn up. Passing an electric current through gasses that glow with colored light creates neon lights seen out on the streets. Passing electricity through mercury gas in a tube that produces a special coating that shines with light makes fluorescent lights.

About 100 years ago electricity was discovered and that was the beginning. Today we have complex machines that make our everyday living an easier task than what people perceive it to be. It’s amazing how one discovery can produce so many other things in the future. In the book there are many more things to talk about but I have only two pages to describe the basics of Electricity.

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