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What is this ELECTRICITY anyway?

September 15th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Electricity by nature is very hard to define.  In our day to day we often use the word “electricity” incorrectly to describe a lot of different conditions and states, all of which have specific definitions.  When you get down to it, it can all be rather confusing – even for those of us in the business.  Secondly – all of this electrical stuff is very closely related to (and effected by) the principals of magnetism and wave frequency.  There is a lot more to it then meets the eye, and general electrical theory is still an evolving filed of study.  Thankfully, I am but an electrician and can leave that heavy hitting to the the electrical engineers of the world.

Here is one basic electrical engineering text book definition we use to describe the electricity in motion we use as end line consumers:

Electric charge, also called “electricity,” is a fundamental component of everyday matter. Objects are made of molecules and atoms, atoms are made of protons, neutrons, and electrons, and the protons and electrons are made in part out of electric charge. Electric charge is substance-like. If you have a quantity of charge, you cannot destroy it, you can only move it from place to place. A flow of electric charge is called “electric current.”

So, stepping off from there… the practical electrician definition of electricity then becomes (more or less) “the flow of electrical current thru a conductor”.  Not so bad, is it now? So where am I going with all of this… good of you to ask.  One quick way to help determine if the electricians you are dealing with know their stuff is to ask them “what is electricity”.  More often then not I think you will be surprised by the answers you get.

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