Sources of Electricity

Electricity is a unique source of energy. Not only can it be transformed into a variety of other kinds of energy, such as thermal energy, light energy, chemical energy, and mechanical energy, it can be created easily in a variety of ways. Think of other types of energy such as coal and oil. They are much harder to create, generally relying on natural processes over a long period of time. This section explores different ways that electricity can be produced.

A common and easily observable source of electricity is the static electricity produced in thunderstorms. Other ways that electricity can be produced include the movement of a conductor through a magnetic field, the application of pressure to a special type of crystal, the conversion of sunlight by solar cells, and chemical reactions. Regardless of the way it is produced, electricity is always the movement of electrons in a conducting circuit. Let’s see how we can get those electrons moving so they can do work for us.