Updated: 12/31/2022 by Computer Hope

The flow of electrical charge (electrons) is called electricity, from the Greek word elecktra. An example is the current that comes to your house through wires, powering your computer, lights, and other devices. Many phenomena are the result of electricity, including lightning, static electricity, and electromagnetic induction. Electricity also allows radio waves, a form of electromagnetic radiation, to be created and received.

History of electricity

Around the year 1600, the English scientist William Gilbert studied electricity, and magnetism, and is credited with coining the term "electricity." Adding to Gilbert's studies, Sir Thomas Browne experimented with electricity. Together, Gilbert and Browne wrote about their findings and helped establish the science around electricity.

The discovery of electricity is often attributed to Benjamin Franklin. He began studying and experimenting with forms of electricity, including static electricity, in 1746. In 1752, he conducted his famous experiment of flying a kite high up in the clouds. His kite collected electrical charges from the clouds and allowed him to prove that lightning is electricity.

However, ancient civilizations may also have studied, and possibly used, some form of electricity. Archaeologists found a clay pot in 1936, and it was determined to be over 2,000 years old. Inside the clay put were copper plates, an iron rod, and tin alloy, which are components of a battery. Archaeologists stated the clay pot could potentially be used to generate an electric current using vinegar or another similar solution.

Electronics terms, Power terms, Static electricity