Fun Facts About Electricity
If you are like the rest of us, you probably don’t often think about electricity and when you do, it is usually negative connotations – when your power goes out or when you discover an outrageously high electric bill. But electric energy is actually pretty fascinating and many scientists and environmentalists forecast that in the future, everything will be electric.
To get us started, we will talk about some fun facts about electrical energy. Did you know that Thomas Edison didn’t really invent the light bulb, just as Benjamin Franklin didn’t invent electricity? Or that electricity can change your heartbeat? Below you will find out about these and many other electrical fun facts to impress your friends next time the topic of electrical power comes up.
Discovery of Electricity
First of all, if you hear anyone talking about the invention of electricity, you have our permission to roll your eyes. Electricity wasn’t invented but discovered as a naturally occurring phenomenon of increasing the resistance in metal wires when electric current flowed through them to generate heat and light.
US inventor Thomas Edison is often credited with inventing a lightbulb in 1879 using this process. Yet the British chemist Warren de La Rue had solved the scientific challenges nearly 40 years earlier. Ouch! However, Edison did invent approximately 2,000 other electric products, such as fuses, sockets, and switches that we still use in our homes today.
Speed of Electricity
Electricity travels at the speed of light, which is 670,616,629 miles per hour or 300 million meters per second. In addition, it can jump from one object to another until it reaches its final destination in the ground.
Have you ever rubbed your feet on the carpet and then zapped something when you touch it? Well, you’ve experienced static electricity, specifically a build of electric charge on the surface of an object (such as your body).
The most common reason for this build up the exchange of electrons between two objects, when you rub them together, so you end up with a positive charge build-up on an object and a negative build up on the second one. Two items with the same charge (positive and positive) will push away from each other, so when you touch a grounded piece of metal after you rubbed your feet on the carpet, the built-up charge gets grounded and you feel a visible and audible zap.
This is one of the popular facts about electricity for kids because you can make their hair stick straight up by rubbing it with a hat or a piece of paper, without them knowing which end is up. Magic!
Btw, lighting is also static electricity, but we will save this piece of trivia about electricity for later.
Lightning is Electricity
Remember the static electricity is caused by rubbing two objects and causing a build-up of an electric charge on the surface? Well, turns out that lightning belongs to the same category. As rain clouds move through the sky, they rub against the air around them. The positively charged particles high up in a cloud clash with negatively charged particles lower down and lightning occurs.
One lightning rod can contain up to 3 million volts – that’s enough to power more than 200,000 homes. Lightning moves at around 130,000 miles per hour and can be as hot as 54,000°F.
Birds on Power Lines
You might have seen birds resting on power lines before and wonder why they don’t get electrocuted. The trick is that birds sit on one electric line at a time, so the current doesn’t have anywhere to go. If the bird touched multiple lines at once, it would turn into an electric circuit to allow the current to flow through the bird’s body from one line to another, electrocuting it.
Though certainly one of the more interesting facts about electricity, we ask that you don’t go testing it and hanging from electric lines, even one at a time!
Electric Impact on the Heart
One of the interesting electrical energy facts that you might not be aware of is that electricity influences your heartbeat by causing your muscles to contract. . Electrocardiogram machines or “ECG” machines are used by cardiologists to detect heart problems, by using power to display a moving line of a person’s heartbeat. If an abnormality in a person’s heart rhythm is detected, this can be a sign of a heart problem and warrants further investigation.
What is Interesting About Electricity?
There are many interesting facts about electricity. For example, did you know that that electricity travels at the speed of light, it can change your heartbeat and that birds don’t die when they rest on electric lines? Lightning, an electric product is also pretty interesting. One lightning rod can contain up to 3 million volts – that’s enough to power more than 200,000 homes. Lightning moves at around 130,000 miles per hour and can be as hot as 54,000°F.
What are the Five Most Important Facts About Electricity?
It’s hard to pick the most important electricity fact, so let’s pick five. Electric current is fast (almost as fast as light), a typical lightning bolt packs 100 million volts while an average taser emits 50,000 volts, Thomas Edison didn’t actually invent the lightbulb, and printers and photocopies use static electricity to attract ink to the page. Did we get your attention? You can find out more facts about electric currents in our short guide.
What Are 3 Facts About Energy?
There are many interesting energy or electric facts, from the way it is generated to its transport and ultimately it’s the consumption by us, our households and businesses. Have you ever wonder about how energy gets generated in your U.S. state? How much is one terawatt? Or perhaps that you can pay less for energy by switching power suppliers?
First of all, we hope that we armed you with enough electricity fun facts for the next time that the topic comes up with friends. Our second hope is that you will start seeing electric power in a different light, apart from just electric bills and power outages, but marvel at all the peculiar magic it actually entails.