Electricity in the ways that they come about.

Electricity is a necessity that we as humans use in every-day life. When it comes to electricity, many varying quantities of it are used for a variety of different purposes. Whether an entire city is being powered from a powerplant, or a light is simply being turned on from the flip of a switch, electricity is being used. Just in the way that the amount of electricity we need and the way we use it may vary, both forms of electricity, static and current, differ in the ways that they come about. When it comes to static and current electricity, they are opposites in the ways that they occur. In order for static electricity to happen there first must be a separation of two charges, one positive charge and one negative. After the separation, the two materials are left with imbalances since both are lacking either a positive or negative charge. More of these separations then occur amongst other materials, as this phenomenon is not very rare. Then, when one material with a charge imbalance touches another with the opposite charge imbalance, one charge jumps over to the other material. “When we separate the materials, the electrons effectively jump ship to the material that attracts them most strongly.” (Woodford, Chris, Static Electricity) This causes the “spark” that can be seen when static electricity occurs. To put this phenomenon in real-world terms, the two separated charges can be thought of as two different pieces of cloth. When one cloth that has an excess negative charge touches another piece of cloth missing a negative charge touch each other, the charge jumps over to the other piece, creating static electricity. Although static electricity can be intentionally created, it often also occurs naturally, making this form of electricity much more unpredictable hat current electricity. Current electricity is opposite to static electricity. Unlike static, current electricity does not happen when one charge jumps to another material, but rather is due to the free flow of electrons from one atom to another. In order for this to happen, current electricity needs a form of transportation, called conductors. Conductors allow for the current of electricity to continue to move from one point to another. “Materials that allow many electrons to move freely are called conductors.” (What Is Electricity, Leonics.com) The most common conductors used are various types of metals, but water can also be used as a conductor. To make current electricity more easily controlled, insulators are used. Insulators are the exact opposite of conductors. While conductors must be able to let the current of electricity flow easily, insulators do not allow for a current of electricity to pass through. Examples of insulators are rubber, dry wood, and plastic. Not only are insulators used to make current electricity more easily controlled, but specific types of conductors can allow for electricity to travel easier. In many cases, such as in wiring, specific metals are used to transport electricity since they allow for electricity to flow through them easier. A few of the metals that are commonly used to conduct electricity are copper, aluminum, and iron. However, despite the fact that each of these metals are often used when conducting electricity, they do not all have the same properties, nor do they have a similar background. When it comes to copper, most of it that is extracted from the Earth is often used in wires, motors, and other electrical equipment. Copper is a very well-known metal, because it is the first metal to be worked on by humans. Its discovery dates back to years that are unknown to historians. However, it is known that the Romans Empire was the first to obtain copper. It was first found on the island of Cyprus, which is where the word copper originates from. Today, copper is mainly collected from the ores cuprite, tenorite, malachite, chalcocite, covellite, and bornite, which are all found within the Earth’s crust. On the periodic table copper is in group 11, period 4, and block D. Copper’s atomic number is 29, and its state at 20 degrees Celsius (the equivalent of 68 degrees Fahrenheit) is solid. Not only can copper be used to conduct electricity, but aluminum is also a good conductor. Aluminum, unlike copper, is not a bronze colored metal, but rather it has a silvery-white pigmentation. Although aluminum is not very strong, it has a low density, has a high thermal conductivity, and is non-toxic. It is also a soft and moldable metal. This means that although aluminum can conduct electricity, its properties make it a difficult material to use for this task. Instead, aluminum is used for a variety of other jobs. “For example: CDs, cars, refrigerators, kitchenware, electric power lines, packaging for food and medicine, computers, furniture and aircrafts.” (Jackson, Mykeyia, How is Aluminum Used in Everyday Life) The discovery of aluminum is nowhere near as far back in history as copper. Aluminum was first found by a man named Hans Oersted. He was a Danish physicist that discovered the metal in the year 1825. On the periodic table aluminum is in group 13, period 3, and block P. Its atomic number is 13, and the state of aluminum at 20 degrees Celsius is solid. Apart from using copper and aluminum to conduct electricity, iron can also be used as a conductor. However, although iron can be used as a conductor, it is commonly used for other reasons apart from electricity conduction. Iron is often used to reinforce structures such as bridges and buildings. It is used for this reason because iron is one of the strongest metals known to man. It was discovered around 3500 B.C, and has been used to make up over 90% of refined metals. On the periodic table, iron is in group 8, period 4, and Block D. Its atomic number is 26, and iron is in a solid state at 20 degrees Celsius.


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