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What Is Electricity?

Electricity occurs when electrons-super-tiny particles
that orbit on the outside part of atoms-jump from one atom to the next.

Lightning and sparks are examples of “static
electricity” flowing through the air. Electricity used in our homes is
generated at power plants and flows to us through wires made of aluminum or
copper.

A magnet passing next to a wire will generate an
electric current in the wire. Electric power plants use this technique to produce
electricity by spinning a large electromagnet inside a coil of wire. Power plants
use different methods to spin the electromagnet. Hydroelectric plants use falling
water. Other plants spin the turbines using pressure from steam, which is made
by burning coal or natural gas.

A good Internet site to learn more about the basics
of electricity can be found at http://cipco.apogee.net/foe/home.htm.

Next month: five key things to know about electricity

-Paul Wesslund

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