Long before electricity was commonplace, people were aware of the power of electricity through lightning and shocks from electric fish.
Ancient Egyptian texts refer to these fish as the “Thunderers of the Nile”.
Patients suffering from headaches or illnesses like gout were told to touch electric fish in the hope that a powerful jolt might cure them. But DON’T try this at home!
We all know that lightning looks impressive – lighting up the sky and not forgetting the boom of thunder.
Well, even though there are over 16 million lightning storms every year and with each lightning bolt unleashes around 500 million joules of energy, that’s not enough to be of any real use – that’s if we could even harness it!
500 million joules is equivalent to the daily consumption of just two households!
You cannot see it or smell it – and certainly should NEVER try and touch it. So what is electricity?
Basically, it’s the flow of electrons through a conducting material, flowing from a negative to a positive. This is because electrons are negatively charged and therefore are always attracted to positives.
An electrical current is created from the electrons bumping into each other. Whilst each particle barely moves, the signal that is created from each small movement is near the speed of light.
You can hear Curious Kate on:
Curious Kate is supported by British Gas Generation Green.