Related topics: energy · solar energy · power · megawatts · renewable energy

Three ways to travel at (nearly) the speed of light

One hundred years ago today, on May 29, 1919, measurements of a solar eclipse offered verification for Einstein's theory of general relativity. Even before that, Einstein had developed the theory of special relativity, which ...

First observation of native ferroelectric metal

In a paper released today in Science Advances, Australian researchers describe the first observation of a native ferroelectric metal: a native metal with bistable and electrically switchable spontaneous polarization states—the ...

Move over, silicon switches: There's a new way to compute

Logic and memory devices, such as the hard drives in computers, now use nanomagnetic mechanisms to store and manipulate information. Unlike silicon transistors, which have fundamental efficiency limitations, they require ...

Pressure mounts on aviation industry over climate change

Under pressure from frequent flyers alarmed over climate change, the airline industry says it is "hellbent" on reducing emissions—but the technology needed to drastically reduce its carbon footprint is still out of reach.

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Electricity

Electricity (from the New Latin ēlectricus, "amber-like"[a]) is a general term that encompasses a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge. These include many easily recognizable phenomena, such as lightning and static electricity, but in addition, less familiar concepts, such as the electromagnetic field and electromagnetic induction.

In general usage, the word 'electricity' is adequate to refer to a number of physical effects. However, in scientific usage, the term is vague, and these related, but distinct, concepts are better identified by more precise terms:

Electrical phenomena have been studied since antiquity, though advances in the science were not made until the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Practical applications for electricity however remained few, and it would not be until the late nineteenth century that engineers were able to put it to industrial and residential use. The rapid expansion in electrical technology at this time transformed industry and society. Electricity's extraordinary versatility as a source of energy means it can be put to an almost limitless set of applications which include transport, heating, lighting, communications, and computation. The backbone of modern industrial society is, and for the foreseeable future can be expected to remain, the use of electrical power.

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