UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
Home
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Webcasts
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
Will electricity act any different in space?
Answer 1:

Electricity doesn't exist in space in the usual way we think about it, namely electrons flowing in a wire. But that's only because space normally doesn't have wires. If you take something electronic up into space, it will work just fine (as long as you keep it at a normal temperature... space can be super cold). On the other hand, there are a few free electrons and ions in space. An ion is simply an atom or molecule which has lost an electron or gained an extra electron, so it is charged. These charged electrons and ions interact with each other (opposite charges attract) and with the magnetic field of the Sun. If you put a battery out in space, it would cause the electrons and ions to flow. This electrical current would be very weak, however, because the number of electrons and ions is very, very small.



Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2015 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use