Electricity in physics
Electricity in physics
Electricity works because electric charges push and pull on each other. There are two types of electric charges positive charges and negative charges. Similar charges repel each other. This means that if you put two positive charges close together and let them go, they would move apart. Two negative charges also repel. But different charges attract each other. This means that if you put a positive charge and a negative charge close together, they would smack together. A short way to remember this is the phrase opposites attract, likes repel.
Electric charges push or pull on each other if they are not touching. This is possible because each charge makes an electric field around itself. An electric field is an area that surrounds a charge. At each point near a charge, the electric field points in a certain direction. If a positive charge is put at that point, it will be pushed in that direction. If a negative charge is put at that point, it will be pushed in the exact opposite direction.
All the matter in the world is made of tiny positive and negative charges. The positive charges are called protons, and the negative charges are called electrons. Protons are much bigger and heavier than electrons, but they both have the same amount of electric charge, except that protons are positive and electrons are negative. Because opposites attract, protons and electrons stick together. A few protons and electrons can form bigger particles called atoms and molecules. Atoms and molecules are still very tiny. It is impossible to see them without a very powerful microscope. Any big object, like your body, has more atoms and molecules in it than anyone could count.
Because negative electrons and positive protons stick together to make big objects, all big objects that we can see and feel are electrically neutral. Electrically is a word meaning describing electricity, and neutral is a word meaning balanced. That is why we do not feel objects pushing and pulling on us from a distance, like they would if everything was electrically charged. All big objects are electrically neutral because there is exactly the same amount of positive and negative charge in the world. We could say that the world is exactly balanced, or neutral. This seems very surprising and lucky. Scientists still do not know why this is so, even though they have been studying electricity for a long time.