Who Discovered Electricity?
Electricity. An energy that is being widely utilised today in our everyday life. From our light bulbs in our houses, charging our phones, electrical posts aligned on the streets, to the industrial machinery in factories trying to manufacture some products that we need. Electricity is abundantly used in this world since our world has reached modernization and will continue to do so. Electricity is one of the foundations of most objects in order to function.
For example, light bulbs, without light bulbs, it will always be dark in different places and light bulbs can give its love using electricity. Another example is our gadgets, there is a mechanism in our gadgets that causes it to turn on, play our favourite videos, play video games, and once its battery percentage is low, it can be recharged using electricity if we plug it to the charger. Lastly, electricity is also used when it comes to heavy duty or industrial machinery in order to produce at a high rate, volume, and weighty products that we also utilise today.
Our world has evolved in terms of being more technological and relying on electricity and modern science in order to function well. The purpose of this modernization is to make functionality much more efficient than the historical times and this system will continue to evolve in following years since newer technological advancements are always being discovered and are introduced due to the constant studying that our professionals do just so that the world could further improve.
Electricity allows us to enjoy multiple things in life and our life somewhat depends on it now. Do you ever just wonder about a world without our precious internet? Yeah, it kind of seems boring and in addition to this, electricity is also used when people work in offices or for school purposes which is why it can be a challenge if we ever ran out of electricity or we experience a blackout in an area. Moreover, some blackouts could last for more than a day especially if there is a damage in the source of energy or conserve, it will take some time to fix it.
But how did all this modernization even begin?
I mean, all things start somewhere, right? So how did this massive part and widely utilised aspect in science start? In this article, you will know how electricity has begun and who discovered this wonderful unlimited source of energy that is broadly and commonly used by the entire world.
To clarify a confusion, electricity is actually not made. It is already a natural source of energy that has been existing in our world for so long we just did not know how to utilise it. However, despite it being already in existence, it still has to be discovered and understood its mechanism of action. We owe it all to Benjamin Franklin, the person who was able to discover and expound the idea of electricity.
We all know that every person is smart on their own and people never cease to amaze us with their magnificent minds. One of those people is Benjamin Franklin. In the aspect of science, Benjamin Franklin is known for his contribution to discovering electricity.
Benjamin Franklin who was also called Ben Franklin and has the pseudonym, Richard Saunders, was born on the 17th of January in the year 1705, back in Boston Massachusetts of the United States of America. He passed away back in the year 1790, on April 17, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, of the United States of America. Benjamin Franklin was a son of a man who made candles and soap and was considered as one of the lowest artisan in crafting.
Franklin was the youngest son and we all know that firstborn children always get the benefits and are privileged back in the day. He wrote an autobiography named, “The Youngest Son of the Youngest Son for Five Generations Back.” Besides being a scientist, he was also working in the line publishing, writing books, printing industries, inventing objects, and at last, a diplomat. Benjamin Franklin was also one of the Founding Fathers who helped with the Declaration of Independence and he was also one of the signers who represented the United States of America to France back in the American Revolution. He was also a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. Now we all know that when Benjamin Franklin was still living, he made phenomenal changes in the world and was a man of multiple roles in society.
We all know that Benjamin Franklin discovered multiple things and has invented many useful objects that we now use today an example of his inventions is the bifocal glasses which are being utilized by people who have vision problems or they want to correct their slowly deteriorating vision – we call them eyeglasses today.
Benjamin Franklin first took his interest in electricity back in the mid-1700s and up until that time, most scientists only knew about static electricity and that is the only type of electricity they experimented on. Benjamin Franklin on the other hand explored electricity deeply. Franklin came up with the notion that electricity has two elements which are positive and negative and that the electricity we use today flows through those two elements. He also hypothesized that lightning is also a source of electricity and would be the physical embodiment of how flowing electricity would look – bright, vein-like structures, and is hot in temperature.
Back in the year 1752, Benjamin Franklin conducted an experiment that we popularly know that he used a kite for the experiment in order to prove his theory regarding lightning as a form of electricity. Benjamin Franklin releases the kite to the sky during a thunderstorm.
He used a metal key and tied it to the kite string in order to attract or conduct the electricity from the lightning once it strikes the kite. Just as he hypothesised, the lightning or the electricity from the storm clouds would indeed transfer to the kite that he flew then flowed through the string and ground or shock Benjamin Franklin. He was fortunate to live and not entirely harm himself during his experiment, in fact he was glad that the shock he experienced proved his assumptions or idea regarding lightning as possessing energy from the sky.
With the help of Benjamin Franklin’s idea, other scientists were also influenced to research or study more about electricity and began to start understanding the mechanism of action of electricity. Back in the year 1879, Thomas Edison made a discovery about light bulbs and patented his creation of this glass globe that could form light now, for so many centuries, light bulbs are utilized in every way possible and have made our world brighter!
But was it really Benjamin Franklin who discovered electricity in the first place. Actually, no. during the 17th century, there was an English scientist called William Gilbert who established the study of science in the discipline of electricity and magnetism. Inspired by the concepts of Gilbert, another English scientist named Sir Thomas Browne made in-depth studies and investigations revolving around electricity and magnetism and he wrote books about his findings during his investigations. Thus making Gilbert and Browne take the credit as the scientists who definitely discovered and coined the term “electricity”.
On the other hand, some scientists have mentioned that ancient people might have studied or conducted investigations regarding electricity as well. Back in the year 1936, a clay pot was discovered which somehow formed a hypothesis that the first battery ever made dates back 200 years ago. The clay pot that was discovered had copper plates, tin alloy, and an iron rod placed inside.
It might not be batteries but it could have been used to create an electric flow of electric current by also adding an acidic solution such as vinegar to the mix. No one really knows the purpose the discovered device was used for but it somehow created a theory that before Benjamin Franklin could investigate and study about electricity, some people may have already tried to study it in their own way!
What Is Electricity?
It is certain that we all have our basic knowledge about electricity so this will serve as a refresher or if you are lucky, you might actually still learn a thing or two regarding electricity.
Electricity can be found all around us. From our light bulbs, phones, gadgets, and other appliances. It is actually quite tough to avoid it even if you try to go to a secluded place without the internet or lights since electricity is formed by natural phenomena throughout nature and could come in different forms. This is why it was mentioned that electricity is everywhere because there are multiple sources of it.
Their different types of sources of energy. If you are in a higher level of education or if you are one curious soul, you may find out that electricity can come in the form of water, heat, geothermal, and fuel.
Now, we must differentiate all of these types of sources of energy.
As we all know heat is one of the basic forms of energy. Putting a pan then placing food in it, then putting it on a stove, the heat would cause the food to be cooked. Besides for cooking purposes, heat from the sun or as we all call it, “solar energy”, can also make different objects to function. For example, placing solar panels on top of the roof of your house, the panels absorbing the light from the sun and it will convert it to energy then it will flow throughout the wirings attached to the house and will cause the lightbulbs to turn on, charge your gadgets, or basically just a natural and cheap source of energy.
As for water-sourced energy, or technically referred to as hydrothermal energy, watermills are constructed and placed beside the banks of bodies of water with strong currents. The water currents as it flows, will help paddle or twist the mill of the water mill thus the start of a continuous cycle within a conglomeration of gears inside the water milk body to create energy based from the movement of water. This is also a natural source of energy because these bodies of water that are being utilized will be preserved. These water currents will get stronger especially on floods and is an essence because blackouts would not be guaranteed due to the rapid flow of water hitting the mills.
The next source of energy is from the underground. In technological terms, it is referred to as geothermal energy. Geothermal energy works by acquiring renewable energy from the Earth’s core. The industry would dig extremely deep holes in order to reach some parts of the Earth wherein magma or magma rocks are present.
This type of energy is based on the original formation of the Earth which consists of thermal energy coming from magma and other rocks found in the deeper layers of the Earth. Some of the Earth’s layer’s constituents are quite radioactive and it is also considered as one of the sources of energy. In fact radioactive energy is actually around us but only in small amounts just like our gadgets — phones, laptops, and televisions. We are already exposed to it but higher amounts could cause mutations and abnormalities.
As for fuel energy, the energy source is from burning coal, petroleum, heavy oils and other objects that could be utilised as fuel or are very susceptible to heat but can be used in large amounts in order to not worry about the scarcity of the natural sources or fuels since low amounts of it in the Earth is actually alarming. These fuels are nonrenewable or it could not be replaced. This type of energy source could actually damage the ozone layer due to the chemicals it emits whenever fuels are burned. Not only that, it could also cause pollution as well.