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Introduction to Electricity
Image: iStockphoto.com/gjp311

Introduction to Electricity

Electricity makes your machines work; it also makes you work. For ages, people didn't understand it. They feared lightning. But they also noticed that certain materials attracted and repelled each other.

Only about 250 years ago did scientists begin to make the observations, do the experiments, and see the connections that brought us the modern world.

Hila Research Center
Watt’s a Joule?

Watt’s a Joule?

Looking for a clear and fun explanation of energy, work, and power, including electric power? You found it. More...

Article
Exploratorium
Electric Potential

Electric Potential

Rubbing against your hair, a balloon may pick up a charge of 5,000 volts! Why doesn't it kill you? To understand that, you need to understand electrical potential. More...

Video
Hewitt-Drew-It!
ElectroCity

ElectroCity

To build this city you must balance your citizens’ needs with the goal of green living. Keep in mind how every action affects the environment. More...

Game
Genesis Energy
Electromagnetism Videos

Electromagnetism Videos

It can be hard to picture the connection between electric and magnetic fields and electric current. These videos give you the images you need. More...

Video
NeoK12.com
Ohm’s Law

Ohm’s Law

Current. Voltage. Resistance. Ohm's law. You're unlikely to find anyone who can explain these things more pleasantly than Paul G. Hewitt. More...

Video
Hewitt-Drew-It!
Piezoelectricity

Piezoelectricity

Squeeze a piezoelectric material, and it becomes electrically charged. Run an electric current through it, and it changes its shape! This makes piezoelectric materials very useful. More...

Article
ExplainThatStuff!
The Wonders of Physics: Van de Graaff

The Wonders of Physics: Van de Graaff

Been to a science museum? You probably saw a metal ball that makes people's hair stand on end. Here's how the Van de Graaff generator uses static electricity to do that. More...

Article
University of Wisconsin, Madison
14-Year-Old Student Turns Rain into Electricity

14-Year-Old Student Turns Rain into Electricity

Using a piezoelectric material, a Canadian student has changed the kinetic energy of rain into electrical energy. You'll find more about piezoelectricity in this topic. More...

Profile
IEEE Spectrum
A Guide to the Energy of the Earth

A Guide to the Energy of the Earth

Examine the many ways energy cycles through our planet and its systems — from the Sun to our food chain to electricity and beyond. More...

Video
TED-Ed/Joshua M. Sneideman
Alternating Current

Alternating Current

Guess how many electrons your power company sends to you in a year. Answer: 0. So what does it send? This high-energy video explains. More...

Video
Mellenstei
Electric Field Hockey

Electric Field Hockey

Can you take charge of the charge of your charge? See if you can arrange the positive and negative charges in this game so they make your own charge charge into the goal. More...

Game
PhET Interactive Simulations
Electricity in the Human Body

Electricity in the Human Body

Walt Whitman, the famous 19th century poet, wrote, "I sing the body electric." He was right! Living bodies are electric. For an explanation, click here. More...

Video
GE Research
The Shocking Truth About Electric Animals!

The Shocking Truth About Electric Animals!

Find out how some fish use electricity and electric fields to kill things, sense things, and even court their mates. More...

Video
SciShow
What Is Electricity? (Are You Gonna Be My Girl?)

What Is Electricity? (Are You Gonna Be My Girl?)

Get the answer to that question and learn about electricity by listening to a classic rock song. More...

Video
Veritasium
Coulomb’s Law

Coulomb’s Law

There's are amazing similarities between the electric force and the force of gravity. There's also a huge difference. Gravity only attracts. Charged particles attract and repel. More...

Video
Hewitt-Drew-It!
Electrical Resistance

Electrical Resistance

The electrons that make up an electric current are always bumping into atoms as they flow through an ordinary conducting material. The result of these collisions is electrical resistance. More...

Article
The Physics Classroom
Electricity

Electricity

These electricity study guides have it all: written explanations, video explanations, sample test questions, also a term you may not know. In the UK, "the mains" means a home's electricity supply. More...

Article
BBC
Power: Putting Charges to Work

Power: Putting Charges to Work

Electrical power — like mechanical power — is the speed at which work is performed. Been confused by your family's electric bill? This site explains it. More...

Article
The Physics Classroom
The War of the Currents: AC vs. DC Power

The War of the Currents: AC vs. DC Power

Back in the 1800s, 2 great inventors fought to promote 2 different kinds of electric current. Alternating current (AC) won, right? Actually, direct current (DC) is making a comeback. More...

Article
U.S. Department of Energy

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