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Dear someone who knows about electricity , My name is Adriana and I am a 4th grade student at Stratham Memorial School, in Stratham NH. My class has been researching all forms of energy trying the answer the question, What is energy, and how does it affect us?
I am focusing on electricity. I have learned a lot in my research, like electricity is in our bodies, it makes our heart beat, muscles move and flows through our nerves. Electricity starts with atoms, atoms have three smaller parts in them. One of them is called electrons. Electrons can move very fast from one to another. Moving electrons create energy. Moving electrons can carry electricity to different places. This is called a electric current. Benjamin Franklin was not the first person to discover electricity. Someone named William Gilbert and Sir Thomas Browne were the first scientists to use the term electricity. So they should get the credit for discovering electricity, not Benjamin Franklin. I have a few questions I hope you can answer,
1.Why does electricity conduct through metal?
2.What is electromagnetism and how does it affect us in our lives?
3.How are electronics still using energy even if they are plugged in but turned off?.
I really appreciate you taking the time to help me. You can reply in a email to my teacher, in a letter to my school, (39 Gifford Farm Rd. Stratham, NH 03885). Thank you! Sincerely, Adriana
Question Date: 2019-02-27
Answer 1:

To answer your first question, metal is made up of atoms that are packed in a really neat structure, as if they are all holding hands. Imagine that they are all holding little balls, called electrons. Those electrons are free to move and can be passed to the atoms next to them. When an electric current is applied to metal, it speeds up the passing of balls through all the atoms holding hands, and that’s how electric current flows.

To answer your second question, electromagnetism is the interaction of electric currents or fields and magnetic fields. It’s one of the four forces of physics. It’s created by stationary (staying still) charges, or moving charges. Stationary charges create electric fields and moving charges create magnetic fields.

Electromagnetism is all around us every day. It’s in our lighting, kitchen appliances, communication systems like radio, and security systems. It also has medical applications. For example, when you go to the doctor to get an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) of your brain, you are in a giant electromagnet!

To answer your third question, it all has to do with the electric and magnetic currents talked about above. Wireless electronics don’t require plugging into the wall, but they need to be recharged every once in a while. When you plug your electric toothbrush into the wall, for example, current from the wall flows though a coil inside the charger, which creates a magnetic field. That magnetic field then induces, or creates, a current in another coil that connects to the battery. That recharges the battery, and after a while gives your toothbrush power again!

Answer 2:

1) This is really hard to answer simply. The electrons in metals are partially "free", meaning that they are not bound as tightly to the metal atomics as the electrons in nonmetals are. As a result, when subjected to an electric field, the electrons move, i.e. becoming electricity. You'll need to get farther in school before it will be easy to understand the structure of atoms!

(2) Electromagnetism is using an electric current to create a magnetic field. All electric motors work on electromagnetism. Because so many of the machines that we use are electric, this is extremely important!

(3) The electrical power comes from the power lines, so any electrical circuit will draw power. Turning the machine off may not completely sever all possible circuits.

Answer 3:

1. Metals have atoms that are all arranged in a crystal structure, where the nucleus of the atom stays in place, but the electrons are free to move around. They can move from nucleus to nucleus, and they carry electric current if they're in a circuit with a battery that gives them energy to move.

3. If the electronics or appliances are totally turned off, they won't use energy. My microwave has little green lights when I plug it in, even when I'm not using it, and my meter says it's using 0.18 amperes*. My rice cooker has little black numbers when I plug it in, but my 'Kill A Watt' meter says it's using 0 amps and 0 watts. The little black numbers on the rice cooker need less energy than the little green lights on the microwave. *Ampere is the unit to measure electric current.

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