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Who discovered electricity? It is super cool but I do not know who discovered it. Does the iPhone use electricity?
Question Date: 2013-05-16
Answer 1:

A lot of people worked to develop the understanding of electricity that we have today. Humanity had to first discover electrical charge to discover electricity.

To our knowledge, the Greeks were the first to discover electrical charge. Electrical charge is static electricity, or electricity that does not move. This discovery happened over 2,600 years ago around 600 BC. The Greeks did not know they had discovered static electricity, but they observed that rubbing fossilized tree resin, or amber, with animal fur made the resin attract dried grass.

Fast forward to 2,200 years future. The year is close to 1600 AD. An English physicist named William Gilbert writes books on the attractive nature of amber and uses the Latin word "electricus" to describe it. Several years later, another Englishman is inspired by Gilbert. Thomas Browne writes many books, and in his books on physics comes up with the word electricity to describe his investigations based Gilbert's work. Among those who studied electricity was Benjamin Franklin. He is famous for his experiments with electricity, but he did not discover it.

Franklin's famous experiment in 1752 with the kite, key, and storm simply proved that lightning and tiny electric sparks were the same thing. Franklin understood this fact when a spark jumped from the key on the kite string to his wrist shortly after lightning struck his kite.

I've written a lot about static electricity, but I'm guessing you mean dynamic electricity, or moving electrical charge, when you use the word electricity. The first man to discover a steady (not sudden and violent) flow of electrical charge was Alessandro Volta. Around 1800 an Italian doctor named Luigi Galvani had found that a frog's leg twitched when it touched two different kinds of metals. Volta studied Galvani's findings and concluded that a kind of electrical potential between two metals caused electrical charge to flow through the frog's leg and make it twitch.

Volta found that, in the presence of this electrical potential, electrical charge can flow through a metal wire like water flowing through a pipe. He used his understanding to invent batteries. Are you aware that different kinds of batteries, like AAA, transistor batteries, all have different voltages or electrical potentials?

We have named one of the properties of electricity, electrical potential, after Volta. AAA batteries have an electrical potential of 1.5 volts, transistor batteries have an electrical potential of 9 volts, and car batteries have an electrical potential of about 12 volts.

After Volta, many other scientists developed our understanding of static and moving electrical charge and its connection to magnetism. Among these many scientists include Michael Faraday, who discovered that moving magnets move electrical charge, and Nikola Tesla, who investigated the unique consequences of charge moving back and forth in a wire instead of in just one direction.

More people than we know worked to expand our knowledge of electricity. Our lives are very different than they would be without electricity. iPhones, light bulbs, computers, cars, televisions, gas pumps, cash registers, ovens, refrigerators, tooth brushes, telephones, and many, many more things use static and moving electrical charge to perform marvelous feats.

I hope this answer helps makes electricity seem even cooler. Keep asking questions!

Answer 2:

Electricity has been known to exist from thousands of years, because we know from texts that Egyptians knew of shocks from some electric fish. However, the steady production of electricity didn't occur until much later. In the 1600's, people made devices that created a lot of friction to generate sparks, and it wasn't until Volta developed the first battery in 1800 that there was a reliable source of electricity.

The iPhone definitely uses electricity, which is provided by a chemical reaction that takes place in the battery. Because batteries are used to produce electricity, it's safe to bet that anything with a battery (or that plugs into the wall!) will use electricity.

Answer 3:

The term 'electricity' is derived from a term used by William Gilbert in 1600 to describe static electricity. The discovery that lightning is electrical was made by Benjamin Franklin in 1759. Yes, iPhones and just about any internet or telephone technologies run on electricity.

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