Electricity is so much a part of our lives in this modern world that we take it very much for granted. Only when there is an electrical breakdown are we reminded how dependent we have become on it. Electricity does so many things for us. Without it, our modern way of living will be severely affected or even impossible. it is beneficial for us to understand it better and thus appreciate its important role in our lives.
Electricity is simply the flow of electrically charged particles through a conductor. A common conductor is an electrical wire. In this wire, the electrically charged particles are electrons of the metallic conductor. These electrons can be made to move through the wire by a generator, an electric cell or other means. The movement of these electrons through the wire is what we call electricity. When connected to an electrical appliance, the energetic electrons give some of their energy to the appliance thus making it work. For example, electrons passing through the filament of a light bulb causes the filament to heat up and give out light.
Other appliances work on different principles but basically, they all get their energy from the movement of the electrons through them.
A lightning bolt is actually the movement of charged particles from a cloud to another or to the ground. The conductor is the air itself, As we all know, this form of electricity is very powerful indeed. A person struck by lightning is liable to get roasted. Even our household electrical supply is very powerful. One can get electrocuted by it.
Electricity drives so many appliances in our modern world. The radio, television, iron, refrigerator, computer, pocket calculator, fan, light bulb, motor and hundreds of other devices all require electricity in order to work. if we did not know how to use electricity our world would not be as modern as it is now. Can you imagine life without the radio, television, fan or the light bulb? Well, we would not have these things without electricity.
Electricity, for all its wonder and usefulness, is not easy to store. Except for batteries, hardly anything else can store electricity efficiently. So in order to get this precious energy we need to convert it from other forms of energy.
The most common way of generating electricity is by using a generator. But to run a generator we need other sources of energy. We make use of coal, water, oil, energy from the sun, atomic energy and other sources to drive our generators. So day and night we use up other sources of energy to supply us with electricity. We have become so dependent on it. Without it our world will be entirely different. Perhaps sometime in the future, we may be able to discover something else that can replace our dependence on electricity. Till that time however, we have to go on using it.