What is electricity?

Hello We all use electricity - but what exactly is it?

Electric charge.

If you rub a balloon on your hair, then move the balloon away slightly you will find that your hair stands on end - it is attracted to the balloon.

Girl with static electricity hair

This is caused by electric charges building up on the balloon. These electric charges came from your hair so your hair now has less of them. The balloon has an overall negative charge while your hair has an overall positive charge. Opposite charges attract one another and so, your hair is attracted to the balloon. It stands on end!

These electrical charges don't move anywhere because neither your hair or the balloon conduct electricity very well. They just stay put. When electric charge builds up in one place like this and doesn't move, it's called static electricityWhat we commonly call 'static electricity' is a build up of electric charge that can't go anywhere, as it is not connected to an electric circuit or some other means where it can flow to form an electric current..

Electric current

When electric charge moves from one place to another, it's called electric currentElectric current is a flow of electric charges (electrons).. We often just call this 'electricity'. Electric currents are a way in which energy can move from one place to another. A bolt of lightning is an example of a really big electric current. Much smaller electric currents flow through the wires in circuits powered by batteriesA battery is two or more electric cells joined together that can produce an electric current when connected to an electric circuit..

Find out more about electricity.



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