What is electricity?

This question is easy to answer. Do not ask “What’s X?”

Instead, ask “What is the scientific meaning of the word X?” We want the official version and not the incorrectly interpreted definitions that are used by non-experts.

Electricity is a scientific term that refers to the electric charge. Coulombs are the unit of measurement for electricity. This measurement is part of physics. It can be found in the SI, NIST and Metric systems. A proton is a positive electron, or could be considered a small piece of electricity. Similar to an electron but with opposite poles. The same applies to any charged particle. They are tiny bits or carriers of electricity. An “electric current” is a flow of electricity. A bucket of electricity will have the same effect as an electric charge.

  • Coulomb (unit Quantity of Electricity) — The quantity of electricity that is transported in 1 second by a current of 1. A. Unit quantity of electricity. It is the amount of electricity that must pass through a circuit in order to deposit 0.0011180g silver from a solution silver nitrate. One coulomb/sec is an ampere. An ampere is also 1 coulomb/sec.

Your question is:


(Be aware, I am not asking “What is electricity?” This is a totally different question!

There are important consequences if Electricity is “charge”.

  1. It is not an energy source.
  2. Electricity doesn’t travel at the speed light.
  3. There are only two types of electricity: negative and positive.
  4. Only closed circuits can carry electricity in wires.
  5. It is possible to “convert” electricity into other forms.
  6. The journey for electricity doesn’t go from source to customer.
  7. The utility companies do not sell electricity.

This is the quick version. Here are some details:

  1. Electricity is not energy. The coulombs of charge, in other words, are totally different from the joules energy. (Electrical energy is made up of EM fields that are outside the wires. The carriers of electricity are called “charge carriers” and electrons and protons. All of the electricity (the charge carrier) is present in circuits. It is not being lost or gained. The electricity moves back and forth in AC circuits. DC circuits have the electricity moving slowly in a circular pattern…whereas the electrical energy moves one-way at the speed light. While the electricity flows in a closed circuit, the energy doesn’t.
  2. Electricity doesn’t travel at the speed light. It moves very slowly through wires, at the speed of clock-hands. The amperes value will determine the rate at which it travels. We wouldn’t be able to see electrons if they were moving at a speed too slow for us to see. In other words, the charge flow inside thin wires would be fast enough to see. The wire would glow yellow, melt, or vaporize if it did.
  3. Negative electricity and positive electricity are the only two types of electricity. Michael Faraday discovered this in 1839 when his experiments showed that “static electricity”, and “current electricity” were identical. They were also the same as “animal electricity” and “thermo-electricity.” All the various “kinds” of electricity don’t actually exist: instead they just exhibit various values of current and charge. The battery-electricity has a high current at low voltage and “static” electricity has a high voltage at low current.
  4. Only closed circuits are possible for electricity in wires. Each circuit is filled with electricity and acts like a drive-belt made of mobile electricity. Since a dynamo can only be described as an electricity-pump and pumps are not capable of creating the liquid being pumped, electricity is never “generated”. Because capacitors, inductors and batteries only store the energy, the amount of electricity within them is constant, electricity is not stored.
  5. It isn’t possible to “convert” electricity into other forms. We don’t normally destroy protons or electrons. The electrons don’t change when electrical energy is converted to heat within a thin wire. Electrical heating works much like friction. The electrons “rub” on the heater and then flow out unaffected.
  6. The path to electricity doesn’t go from source to end. This is the path of electrical energy. It follows both wires in the exact same direction, from dynamo through washing-machine. Electricity was there all along. Instead, electricity fills all the wires and moves in a circular fashion, much like a drive belt: one wire is going left and the other goes right. It moves in a closed circle that rotates. That’s DC. An AC system’s “flywheel” of electricity is forced backwards, instead of turning continuously. Where did all the electricity come from? The metal is the “source” for electricity. Metals are partially made up of movable electrons. Conductors are like tiny tanks containing “fluid” electric energy.
  7. Electricity is not sold by utility companies. They sell electro-magnetic energy, or “EM”, instead. The electricity just wiggles in the wires (AC), with no gain or loss. This concept is not difficult. It’s simply a case of waves-versus medium. Waves of electrical energy move along wires at the speed light while columns of electrons, which are the medium, wiggle. The electrical energy is similar to pond-ripples. Electricity is similar to sound waves, so electrical energy can be described as like air. Waves move forward and the medium simply jerks or ripples.

Or, you might prefer the common, non-scientific definitions that are found in magazines, children’s books, or popular culture.

  • “Amperes” of electricity, where electricity doesn’t come from the electrons or protons but rather the moving motion of electrons and prototons. But then, what is the flow of electricity? Electricity? If the “electricity”, is the motion, then no. A motion doesn’t move! If electricity is just “flow”, then it is impossible to say that electricity is what does the flowing. This would be like mistaking the wind for the air!
  • “Volts” refers to electricity, which is the invisible potential field.
  • “Watts” of electricity, where electricity doesn’t refer to electrons or energy. Instead, it’s the moving motion of electrical energy: the joules/sec.
  • “KWh of electricity” is electricity that flows at the speed light. This is because electricity is electromagnetic fields. However, the propagating energy takes place well below radio frequencies. It’s at 60Hz rather than 60MHz radio or 600THz light waves. So electricity is made up of EM photons. !
  • There are many types of electricity that can be described as electrical phenomena: Petroelectricity and Bioelectricity; Myoelectricity; Voltaic Electricity; Triboelectricity; Atmospheric Electricity.
  • Any electrical thing is called “electricity.”

We can see that “Electricity” is a problem.

Amperes and joules do not equal watts. But in our non-scientific world of electricity, it is believed that there is only one thing. These contradictory measurements should all be taken to determine the official “amount” of electricity.

Many encyclopedias and expert sources give very strict definitions of electricity. But they contradict each other! Some still adhere to the original physics definition of electricity, which is composed of coulombs and electric currents. Most sources agree that electricity is the amperes. It’s the moving motion, the coulombs per second of charge. A few sources will also say that electricity is the KWh. What is the flow of electricity during an electric current? It can’t be electricity, even if the flowing movement is meant to be the electricity!

What is then “Electricity”? How can anyone explain it if there are so many contradictions even within legitimate sources? What should we do if the top experts can’t agree?

Maybe we should follow the lead of the physicists and never speak of “Electricity”. Assume that electricity is not real. You can even skip the scientific definition if you mean Electric Charge. You can simply say “charge” instead of “electricity.” Electric current is not a flow or charge of any strange stuff called “electricity”. Utility companies don’t sell electricity; they are energy companies selling us joules.


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