Electricity powers our world, from lights and air conditioners to refrigerators and computers. Every device in your house needs electrical energy to run. You know that. But here are some things you may not have known. Check out these fun facts about electricity that will help you expand your knowledge of this power source and maybe even wow your friends.
1. Lighting is Formed by Electricity
Inside clouds, the movement and compression of water and ice will build up an electric charge. A positive charge builds higher in the clouds while a negative charge builds at the bottom. In the case of a storm, the turbulence involved will separate those charges. Lightning is the result, containing 300 million volts of electricity. This is surprising when you realize that most household devices operate at 120 volts.
2.Electricity Experiments Began in Ancient Greece
As far back as 600 BC, the Ancient Greeks used electricity. In fact, they generated static electricity through the rubbing of fur against amber (tree resin that has been fossilized).
3.Electricity Travels at Light Speed
Electricity will travel at the same speed as the light at which it produces. That equals 186,000 miles a second or 670,616,629 miles an hour. Electricity is comprised of electrons, which typically move slowly. But they can move quite quickly down a wire when switching on a device.
4. Benjamin Franklin Invented the Lightning Rod
Contrary to popular belief, Franklin did not invent electricity. But he did perform experiments on this naturally-occurring phenomenon, including the famous kite and key experiment. He was able to prove that electricity and lightning were connected. Shortly after, he invented the lightning rod to protect homes and other buildings against lightning strikes.
5. Electrocution Only Happens If You Die
The term “electrocution” is commonly used to describe what happens to anyone when shocked with electricity. However, this term, which combines “electric” and “execute”, only refers to death by electricity. If you do not die when shocked by an electric current, you technically have not been electrocuted.
6. Living Things Need Electricity to Survive
Appliances and devices aren’t the only things that need electricity. Living things do too. In fact, heartbeats require electrical energy, with EKG machines measuring this through the detection of electrical pulses. Electric eels generate up to 600 volts of electricity to keep predators at bay, while a platypus uses electrical impulses to hunt underwater.
7. The Electric Car Was Invented in 1832
In 1832, a British inventor named Robert Anderson developed the first crude electric vehicle. The first driveable electric car was invented in the 1870s. Then, a chemist named William Morrison invented a six-passenger EV 20 years later in 1890. By 1900, electric cars were common in main areas like New York City.
Henry Ford and Thomas Edison both experimented with electric cars. However, because crude oil was so plentiful and electricity across America was lacking, gasoline engines prevailed.
Braco Electrical and Contracting in O’Fallon, MO
We hope you enjoyed these fun facts from our electricians in St. Charles MO. If you need any residential or commercial electrical service, please contact us at 636-294-8562 for a free quote. Your choice for professional electricians in O’Fallon, St Charles & St Louis, Missouri