Electricity Facts
Electricity Facts

35 High-Voltage Electricity Facts

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published December 4, 2022
  • Electricity is a form of energy that orders electrons into a flow capable of doing work on another object.[2]
  • In a popular public experiment entitled the "Dangling Boy," 18th-century amateur scientist Stephen Gray would harmlessly electrify a boy suspended from non-conductive ropes. Audiences watched in amazement as the boy's hair stood on end and sparks came out of his nose.[1]
  • The three basic units used to measure electricity are voltage (expressed in volts), current (amps), and resistance (ohms). Overall electrical power is determined by multiplying volts by amps and is expressed in watts.[11]
  • If the current is strong enough, it is possible for a human body to be "frozen" to an electrical conductor.[14]
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), the use of electric currents on a person's brain to trigger a small seizure, has been shown to help some people with mental health disorders, such as severe depression, severe mania, catatonia, and dementia-caused aggression or agitation.[9]
  • In the United States, the odds of being struck by lightning are 1 in 750,000.[4]
  • The human body feels discomfort even when it senses 1/1000 of an amp of current.[14]
  • After being struck by lightning twice on the same day, 31-year-old Casey Wagner told news reporters that he felt the need to start attending church more often.[4]
  • Ben Franklin Electricity
    A jolt or two didn't deter him
  • During an attempt to use electrocution to kill the turkey meant for his Christmas dinner party, Benjamin Franklin accidentally shocked himself so badly that all of the blood temporarily drained out of one of his hands.[1]
  • If ignited by an arc of electricity, oils, grease, and carbon dust can all cause electrical fires.[14]
  • In 1759, Methodist founder John Wesley published a treatise advocating the use of electricity for medicinal purposes and regularly electrified participants at the Methodist church headquarters.[5]
  • Electricity plays a role in such wide-ranging phenomena as thunder and lightning, Earth's magnetic field, human hair becoming frizzy when combed, balloons sticking to walls, and the revival of a human heart in cardiac arrest.[5]
  • The tiny electrical shock that people sometimes experience after walking across carpet is the result of friction causing electricity to accumulate in the body.[5]
  • A carbon dioxide fire extinguisher should be used instead of water to put out an electrical fire because the oils and gasses involved in electrical fires will simply float on the water, rather than be doused by it.[14]
  • The electric battery, which uses two different types of metal to create a continuous current, was invented in 1800 by Italian scientist Alessandro Volta.[5][12]
  • In the United States, you can dial 8-1-1 to have an electric company in your area mark out any underground electrical lines on your property for free.[3]
  • There are currently two different technologies capable of converting solar radiation into electrical energy: solar panels, which absorb the sun's energy to create electrical charges, and CSP mirrors that reflect and concentrate sunlight, turning it into heat, which can then be used for the production of electricity.[10]
  • Electroconvulsive therapy ECT
    Roughly 100,000 people in the United States still receive ECT annually
  • Although electroshock therapy is still used therapeutically in the United States, historically, the treatment was applied without use of anesthetics or muscle relaxants and was often administered without obtaining the patient's permission. For this reason, some countries have banned its use.[8]
  • Pure water is actually an insulator that doesn't conduct any electricity. However, because almost no water on earth is totally pure, the combination of water and electricity is an extremely dangerous one.[15]
  • Electricity is actually a carrier of electrical energy rather than the source of the energy itself. The actual sources of electricity can include phenomenon as varied as the heat that comes from burning oil or water drawn from a dam.[2]
  • Different aspects of electricity can be measured in various ways: watts, volts, amperes, joules, newtons, coulombs, farads, ohms, hertz, and Tonnes of Oil Equivalent are all units of measurement used in relation to electricity.[2][7]
  • Voltage measures the amount of "pressure" created by an electrical power source, analogous to water pressure pushing liquid through a hose.[11]
  • Materials that make good conductors of electricity—most metals, for instance—have a low amount of resistivity because they are made of atoms whose electrons are free enough to be set in motion; whereas insulators such as wood or rubber have molecular structures that prohibit electron movement.[2][7]
  • It only took 3 years after Thomas Edison began selling his incandescent light bulb for technological advances to allow for the price of lamps to drop by over 90%.[2]
  • In the United States, the month of May is National Electrical Safety Month.[3]
  • Zeus lightning
    He provokes easily
  • The king of the Greek gods, Zeus, maintained his power largely through his weapon of choice: lightning. Even the other gods feared those fiery bolts.[6]
  • A power grid is a system for the generation and transmission of electric currents, and it usually consists of multiple power plants connected by a series of nodes and lines to various "loads," the places where the electricity is actually used.[2]
  • Named for French scientist André-Marie Ampère (1775–1836), amperes (amps) measure electrical current, which is the amount of electricity passing through a given point in a single second.[11]
  • Around 1,000 Americans die each year from injuries involving electricity.[16]
  • Roughly 25% of all in-the-home electrocution accidents in the United States involve an electric tool or machine, and around 50% are caused by contact with power lines.[16]
  • Every year in the United States, between 50 and 300 people are killed by lightning strike.[16]
  • Of all of the electricity-related injuries in the United States every year, around 20% happen to children, and a large percentage of those occur with toddlers.[16]
  • Electrical burns can be accompanied by seizures, respiratory arrest, thermal or chemical burns, intracranial hemorrhage, and loss of consciousness due to a reduction of blood in the brain.[16]
  • Of the 1,543 people executed in the United States in the last 46 years, 163 were killed with the electric chair.[13]
  • Ohms measure how much a given object resists the flow of electricity and, hence, how effective a conductor it is.[11]
  • Fun Electricity Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Electricity Infographic Thumbnail

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