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

Getting a look under the hood of topological insulators

Certain materials, like copper, conduct electricity very well. Other materials, like glass, do not. A certain kind of material, called a topological insulator, acts partially like one and partially like the other ― it ...

Cable bacteria: Living electrical wires with record conductivity

A team of scientists from the University of Antwerp (Belgium), Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) and the University of Hasselt (Belgium) have reported on bacteria that power themselves using electricity and can ...

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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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