Tag Archives: Electricity

CHARGE!!

Electricity

Electricity (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

Each time you plug an appliance into one of your receptacles at home, you take for granted that it’s going to work. Do you ever take the time to consider what it takes to keep the outlet at your beckoned call?

The first thing you need is an electrically conductive material…we’ll call it “wire.” This “wire” needs to be able to carry electricity with the least amount of resistance. As far as metals go, gold is the best choice. The “gold-standard,” if you will. However, the price of gold being what it is, this option is hardly cost-effective.

The next best choice would be silver. But then again, there’s that pesky problem of cost. So back to the drawing board. We need conductivity, flexibility, and affordability…

After a judicious search, we must settle upon copper. It contains the properties we require while remaining relatively cheap.

Or does it?

If the price of copper continues on its upward trend, it will soon surpass gold and we will again have to search for another material.

Or will we?

It seems that there is another metal out there with similar properties, although it does not occur naturally. It comes from our friend, the rock known as Bauxite. We know this mystery metal better as aluminum.

Hold the phones! This was tried in the 70s with substandard results. It seems the aluminum wire would shrink and expand, loosening the connection and causing a sparking problem, and we all know where that can lead.

At one point, the aluminum wire was clad (or covered) with copper…I don’t have a clue where this led, only that you no longer see this type of wire for sale, so I can only assume the worst.

To summarize, power plants send electricity to sub-stations, who drop the voltage and amperage, sending it through overhead power lines, pausing at transformers that once again drop the intensity of the power, making it usable for our homes.

This energy enters our home via the electrical meter and travels into our breaker box. This box contains buss bars (which used to be coated with silver), anchoring the wires that enter our walls, ending at light switches and outlets.

Unfortunately, this process is occasionally interrupted. Most often, the culprit is the summertime thunderstorm. My advice to you is to keep a supply of candles, pencils and paper. Computers don’t work when the power is out and you can’t write in the dark.

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Simply Shocking

An artistic rendition of the kite experiment b...

An artistic rendition of the kite experiment by Benjamin West. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Electrical fluid.”What is it?” you ask.  “I haven’t a clue,” would be my reply. What I do know is that was the term used for electricity in Ben Franklin’s day. Now we know that Ben was a remarkable man. We know he wanted to prove that lightning was, in fact, electricity. We know that he published an article stating that a kite could be flown into a storm to prove this theory. Again we know (boy, we sure do know a lot) that supposedly June 15, 1752 is the date he performed the experiment. (More on this later).

Let’s examine “electrical fluid.” As I stated earlier, I’m not sure why the idiom, “electrical fluid,” was used instead of just using the word electricity.  But what I am sure of (this time it’s just me that knows something) we can apply this phrase to a style of writing that is, in my opinion, what most writers would prefer to write and majority of readers would prefer to read.  If you deconstruct the phrase “electrical fluid”, the word “electrical” would lend itself to writing that was exciting, keeping the reader on the edge of their seat wanting more .

The word “fluid” speaks for itself as it implies a writing style that flows and is easily read.  When putting the two words together you have (again, in my opinion) a work in its most pristine form, one that would generate interest no matter what genre you normally read.

Now, we’ll continue where we left off in the first paragraph.  Just to make you aware, “we know,” will once again  figure prominently in this paragraph.  We know (see, I told you so) that fifteen years after Franklin’s experiment, he was given credit in a published article .  We also know, that in the months following the experiment, a number of individuals were electrocuted attempting to duplicate Franklin’s results.

Finally, something we don’t know. Did Franklin actually perform the kite flying experiment?  Like I said, we don’t really know and if he did we don’t know exactly how he did it because he knew electrocution was always a possibility.

So in conclusion, what can we glean from this post?  We know, what we know. We don’t know, what we don’t know;  and most importantly, come in out of the rain.

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