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What is Electricity?

What is Electricity?

Electricity is the flow of any particle with a charge – in the case of our household supply, it is the flow of negatively charged particles called electrons (hence electricit-y).

In a simple circuit, the electrons are provided by the metal in the wires (usually copper). The battery provides a potential difference (voltage) that provides the ‘push’ to move electrons towards the positive terminal.

There are two types of electrical current available: Alternating Current and Direct Current. The electical current that comes out of your plug sockets is the former. The National grid provides electricity that reverses direction 50 times per second (50Hz) in the UK. You can actually prove this with a slow motion camera – alternating current explains why lights seem to flicker under slo-mo.

Fast Fact: A current of just 0.1 – 0.2 amps is sufficient to kill a person.

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