UP TO TOP  | GOOD STUFF  | NEW STUFF | SEARCH
Google:





 

VISUAL ELECTRICITY

An electronic device for explaining electricity

A wire with giant moving electrons.          W. Beaty 1993

Build it yourself! Or if not, this device is available through Arbor Scientific. Contact them for a current catalog and pricing. ( Catalog page) Even if you don't intend to purchase this device, their catalog is worthwhile for the science toys and demos.
[JPEG of 
'visual electricity' device, LEDs in a plastic pipe, hand-crank 
generator] This device shows you what "electricity" would look like if you could see it.

All metals are full of movable electrons (a physics teacher would call it "the electron sea.") These electrons can be pushed around by a voltage or "potential difference." Wires act like water-filled hoses, where voltage is like water pressure, and batteries are like water pumps.

If we could SEE the electrons during electric currents in a wire, they would look something like the following, although they would move far more slowly:

DIRECT CURRENT:


ALTERNATING CURRENT:   




See what these devices teach? Here's a list. The concepts are somewhat (ahem) shocking. If electrons are the "carriers" of charges of electricity; if electrons are "particles of electricity," then...
  • In an AC wire, the electricity sits in one place and vibrates back and forth.
  • All conductors are already full of electricity. Electricity is supplied by the metal.
  • Wires act like water pipes which are always full of water.
  • The word "Conductor" means the same as "contains movable electricity."
  • Electricity is not produced by batteries or generators, it flows THROUGH.
  • Electricity is not consumed by motors or light bulbs, it all just goes through.
  • Electricity does not flow at the speed of light. It flows quite slowly.
  • Capacitors don't store any electricity (they store EM energy.)
  • Individual electrons don't carry the electrical energy.
  • Electricity is not a form of energy.
  • Electric current is not a flow of energy.
  • Circuits are like drive belts, not like strings of coal-cars.
  • Electric energy and charges of electricity are two different things.

For more on this, see:


LOOKING FOR BOOKS? Try searching amazon.com:

(try "science fair" too)
Help Support the Science Club, use the above form to buy your books.
(We make a few $$ on any books ordered via these links.)

Billb's other articles on making 'electricity' visible:

 

Websites elsewhere











http://amasci.com/viselect/viselect.html
Created and maintained by Bill Beaty. Mail me at: .