The Nature of Electricity
Electricity is caused by movement of electrons. Lighting is natural source of electricity. Electricity we uses for day to day activities is generated in power plants. There is often question arises that how electricity was get generated and what is nature of electricity.
For knowing nature of electricity you must know about Structure of atom:-
Structure of the atom
Every substance is made of atoms An atom is the smallest particle of an element that still keeps the properties of the element, atoms consists of small particles known as Electrons, Protons, and neutrons.
Electrons: - These have negative charge
Protons: - These have Positive charge
Neutrons: - These don’t have any charge
The electron is a particle which have very lightweight. Protons are very heavier about 1,840 times heavier than electrons. Electrons are the smallest type of atomic particle.
In Electricity Electrons and Protons plays an important role. Neutrons play no part in electricity.
Just like solar system where planets orbit around sun, similarly in atoms proton forms the nucleus and electrons orbit around these protons. Atomic number of any element indicates no. of electrons orbiting around proton. These electrons are different distances from nucleus and they revolve around nucleus in layers. Electrons which were closer to protons were tightly held and farthest electrons are not strongly held.
Picture shows drawing of Hydrogen atom which is simplest among all atoms as it contains only one electron and proton. Proton is shown at the center and electron is orbiting around the proton. So all atoms have similar construction only difference is between no. of protons , electrons and neutrons. Hydrogen atom have only one electron and proton so electron is tightly attached to proton so it will be very difficult to dislodge electron from Hydrogen atom.
Electrons can be removed by different ways one way to remove the electron is when lighting strikes on some substance and another method is to through friction i.e. by rubbing the substance.
When energy is applied to the atom then electrons which were farthest from nucleus will get easily dislodged from the orbit in which they rotate. They electrons will become free electrons and in this way we will get number of free electrons.
These free electrons also known as random electrons that move about the molecular structure of the material are what makes up electricity.
If it is easy to dislodge electrons from atoms orbit then it is known as good conductor of electricity e.g. Aluminium and copper are good conductors of electricity. Similarly the substance where electrons are very difficult to dislodge are known as bad conductor of electricity.
How Electric Charge Produced
As we have seen that atoms can lose electrons and other atoms can gain these free electrons. So it becomes possible to transfer electrons from one object to another. So there will not be equal distribution of positive and negative charge on object. Thus there will be one object with higher electrons and its polarity will becomes negative and other object which losses electrons becomes Positively charged.
When there are two objects contains the same charge, that is, both positive and both negative, the objects are said to have like charges. When two objects has different charges, that is, one body is positive while the other is negative, they are said to have unlike or opposite charges. The law of electric charges may be states that “Like charges repel each other; unlike charges attract each other”.
The ability of a charge to do work is called its “potential”. When one charge is different from the other, there must be a difference in potential between them. It is this potential difference which leads to flow of current and hence generation of electricity.