Scientists originally coined the term "Electricity" to refer to positive and negative "charges of electricity." By this definition an electric current is a flow of electricity, the two kinds of electricity are called "positive" and "negative," and an electron is a particle of negative electricity (or more accurately, a carrier of negative electricity.)
Centuries later, the electric utility companies confused things by calling electromagnetic energy by the name "electricity." It's confusing because EM energy in an AC power system flows at nearly the speed of light, while the electrons (the negative electricity) inside the wires does not move forward, but instead just wiggles back and forth. So which thing is the electricity; the waves of energy, or the medium through which the waves can flow? It's confusing because a generator doesn't produce any electrons (so it doesn't produce any electricity,) yet the generator does produce EM energy. So it DOES produce electricity? Can't have it both ways! Unfortunately we started using one word to name two entirely different things.
Later still, science textbook authors confused things even more by saying that "electricity" was not the electrons and not the electrical energy, instead it was the MOTION of the electrons. According to these books, the two types of electricity are NOT positive electricity and negative, instead the two types are "static" and "current electricity." --Wjbeaty 20:05, 22 September 2005 (UTC)
This page need to be cleared, many things in this article is definitely incorrect. And what's with the "The following 7 definitions were contributed by Ed Brumgnach.", it's simply against wikipedia's concept. I'll try to clear it if I have time.
- =Electricity is a noun and a generic term for discussing the electrostatic and electrodynamic properties of matter. The electrostatic charge properties were noticed and discussed hundreds of years ago in that they would counteract gravity by picking up matter and other phenomena. but the conceptual development began when processes of accumulation of electrostatic charges were developed and studied and certain concepts about their nature were discussed. The first concept was that there were two different kinds of electricity, originally called vitreus (positive) and resinous (Negative) because electrostatic charges were observed to occur to a quantity of these materials when they were rubbed. And it was noted that there was a physical force of attraction between oppositely charged materials which would be lessoned or eleminated by letting them touch each other. And that is still the prevailing opinion. However since the electrostatic charge in a material is resident in different parts of the atom of the material, and since the negative charge is resident in the much more movable electron of the atom, most ideas about electricity are about the static and electrodynamic properties of the electrons and their negative charge. We have since developed a tremendous industrial complex of materials and machinery related to the use of electricity for heat and light and industrial production of necessary (and unnecessary) things used in modern day life. WFPMWFPM (talk) 02:30, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Questionable Claim[change source]
"In some materials, electrons are stuck tightly in place, while in other materials, electrons can move all around the material. Protons never move around a solid object because they are so heavy, at least compared to the electrons."
- That's talking about conductivity. It has nothing to do with the mass of charged particles, and everything to do with whether the charges are bound and unable to move. In salt water, no individual electrons are free to move. None. The electric current is entirely made up of positive sodium atoms (ions) and negative chlorine atoms, each traveling in opposite directions. Same with battery acid, and with currents in dirt and in human flesh. These conductors use charged, moving atoms. There are also "proton conductors" used in Fuel Cells, where positive hydrogen ions are the only movable charges. That's electrolyte conduction where atoms are the things which move. Now metals are very different: when metals are first formed, the outer electron of each atom leaves the atom, never to return. The atoms form a cloud, a "charge sea" or "sea of electrons" which orbit all through the metal atoms but never stick to any single one. But metals are solid, so the protons of the atomic nuclei remain still, and any electric current is formed from the moving "sea of charge." In liquid metals that's not true, and during an electric current you can have moving positive metal ions as well as moving electrons. - wbeaty 184.108.40.206 (talk) 03:41, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm no physicist, but it seems to me it'd be the electrons moving because they're free to move (as they're already in orbitals) whereas the protons are not (they're stuck to other protons and nuetrons in the nucleus). Weight doesn't really seem to play a factor here? Does someone have a reference that could settle this either way? 220.127.116.11 (talk) 06:20, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
- "Seems" doesn't cut it. In salt water, electrons are not free to move. Neither are there any free electrons in battery acid, human tissue, solid electrolytes, H2O ice, or the Earth. During electric currents in these materials, the only moving charges are ions. The conductors with the free electrons are: metals, plasmas. 18.104.22.168 (talk) 22:23, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
- I take this to mean that some electrons are held in orbitals which take a great deal of energy to remove them , others may be in an outer orbital , particularly in metals , in which it takes only a little energy to move them on. Protons are relatively unaffected by electric fields because their mass is 1836 times more than an electron. Electrons therefore are more influenced by an electric field. I think the paragraph is ok for a simple introduction. Lumos3 (talk) 14:00, 19 March 2009 (UTC)