KISH>Grassroots>Electricity
What is electricity?
We use electricity everyday. Without it we would not be able to watch t.v., listen to the radio, have hot water, use a microwave to heat our food and many of the other things we do every day.

But what is electricityy?

First you have to know what an atom is. An atom is the smallest part of something. It is microscopic and every thing is made up of atoms.

Atoms are made up of three parts. There are :

Protons These parts of an atom have a positive charge. They are in the middle of the atom, called the nucleus and they do not move.

Neutrons These parts of an atom have no charge. They are neutral and part of the nucleus of an atom with the protons.

Electrons These parts of the atom are very small and weigh a lot less then the protons and neurtons. Electrons are not part of the nucleus of the atom, instead they move around in orbits outside the nucleus. Electrons are the only part of an atom that moves.

So what does this have to do with electricity?

Electricity is the flow of moving electrons. When the electrons flow it is called an electrical current.

To understand why electrons flow you need to understand that atoms can lose electrons by rubbing against another material. Think about when you rub your head against a balloon. Believe it or not, your hair is actually getting some electrons from the balloon. Because your hair has more electrons then protons, we say it is negitively charged.
But what about the balloon? Well the balloon has more protons than electrons so it is positively charged.

Now that we know objects can have positive or negitive charges let's talk about how objects that are charged will behave. There are 3 main rules about electrical charges:

like charges repel
So if both you and your friend rubbed balloons on your head and then tried to stick the balloons together they would repel or push away from each other because they would both have the same charge.

unlike charged objects attract Since your hair has a positive charge and the balloon has a negitive charge, they are attracted to each other. Kind of like to magnets trying to stick together.

a charged object will attract an uncharged object So the balloon is charged and the wall has no charge. This means the wall is attracted to the balloon.

Knowing these three rules you can think of the lunch line full of boys. (Pretend the boys have a negitive charge.)A girl comes to the front of the line. (The girl has a positive charge.) The boys are attracted or trying to get as close as possible to the girl. The boys all start pushing the boy in front of him closer to the girl and to move away from the other boys. This is how the electrons flow. The negitive charges (electrons) move because they are repelled by other electrons and because they are attracted to the positive charges (protons).

The flowing electrons make electricity, but how can we use it?

You need three things to let you use this electrical current: a circuit or a path for the electrons to move through, a power source, or something that is going to make the electrons move, like a battery or a generator, and something to use the electricity, like a light bulb or a t.v..
The power source causes the electrical current that goes through a circuit or a closed path, and the appliance is connected to the circuit so the electrons can move through it and make the appliance work.

This is a lot of information electricity. Try this short quiz to see how much ou learned.

Electricity Quiz

[HOME]