We know that atoms contain neutrons, which have no charge; protons, which have a positive charge; and electrons, which have a negative charge. Protons and neutrons stay within the atom, but electrons are a little like bumper cars. They race around and can even jump from one atom to another. Electricity is a form of energy caused by the interaction between electrons and protons. Electric charges occur as electrons move between atoms.
- Lightning is a form of electricity.
- Voltage is a type of pressure. It determines the force that electricity flows. Amps are how much electricity is present. To understand this, think of a faucet or spigot. If you have a lot of water pressure, the water flows quickly. Less pressure, the water flows more slowly. If you turn the faucet on full-blast, a lot of water comes out. Turn it down and less water is available.
- Batteries contain a weak form of electricity.
- Power plants use wind, water, or fossil fuels to make electricity.
- Conductors are materials, such as aluminum, that electricity flows freely through.
- Resisters, like rubber, slow down the flow of electrons – and electricity.
- Voltage: a type of electrical pressure
- Amp: amount of electricity present
- Fossil fuel: oil, coal, or gasoline
Q and A
Question: Can I do experiments at home with the electricity in my house?
Answer: The electricity flowing through your home is much too powerful to experiment with. You can do electrical experiments safely with an adult using batteries or an electrical experiment kit.
To learn more about electricity, watch this video from Bill Nye the Science Guy.