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The Meaning of Electricity

All words that begin with “electr …” such as electrons, electricity, electronics originate from the Greek word “elektor”, which means “radiant sun”. In Greek, “elektron” refers to amber, which is a very beautiful golden-brown “stone” that shines with orange and yellow light.

It is a property of certain fundamental particles of which matter is composed, also called electrical charge, and which are of two types, designated as positive and negative. The property of electric charge in a physical particle or body creates a force field which affects other particles or bodies which possess electric charge; positive charges create a repulsive force among them, and negative charges also create a repulsive force.

A body with a positive charge and a body with a negative charge will create an attractive force between them. The unit of electrical charge is the coulomb, and the force field strength at any point is measured in volts. Any of several phenomena associated with the accumulation or movement of electrically charged particles within material bodies, classified as static electricity and electric current.

Static electricity is often observed in everyday life, when it causes certain materials to adhere to each other; when enough static charge is accumulated, an electric current can pass through the air between two charged bodies, and is observed as a visible spark.

When the spark passes from one human body to another object, it can feel like a painful sensation from mild to strong. Electricity in the form of an electric current has many practical uses in electrical and electronic devices. Lightning is also known to be a form of electrical current that passes between clouds and the ground, or between two clouds.

Electric currents can produce heat, light, concussion, and often chemical changes when they pass between objects or through any imperfectly conducting substance or space. The accumulation of electrical charge or the generation of a voltage difference between two parts of a complex object can be caused by any one of a variety of disturbances of the molecular balance, whether from a chemical, physical, or mechanical cause.

The electrical current in metals and most other solid products is carried by the movement of electrons from one part of the metal to another. In ionic solutions and in semiconductors, other types of movement of charged particles can be responsible for the observed electrical current.

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