• WordNet 3.6
    • n electricity keen and shared excitement "the stage crackled with electricity whenever she was on it"
    • n electricity a physical phenomenon associated with stationary or moving electrons and protons
    • n electricity energy made available by the flow of electric charge through a conductor "they built a car that runs on electricity"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The Electric Heater The Electric Heater
With the aid of electric torches With the aid of electric torches
Electrical power generator Electrical power generator
Electric chair Electric chair
Siemens's electric railway Siemens's electric railway
Electric locomotive in tunnel Electric locomotive in tunnel
Schematic three-wire electric light circuits Schematic three-wire electric light circuits
Electric welding system Electric welding system

Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The electric chair was invented by Dr. Alphonse Rockwell and was first used on William Kemmler on August 6, 1890.
    • n electricity In physics, a name denoting the cause of an important class of phenomena of attraction and repulsion, chemical decomposition, etc., or, collectively, these phenomena themselves. The true nature of electricity is as yet not at all understood; but it is probable that it is not, as was formerly assumed, of the nature of a fluid—either a single fluid, as was supposed by Franklin, or two fluids (positive and negative), as was supposed by Symmer. The word was first used by Gilbert, the creator of the science of electricity, and by him was applied to the phenomena of attraction and repulsion as exhibited when amber (electrum) and some other substances of a similar character were briskly rubbed. Its meaning has been gradually extended to include a large variety of phenomena, among which may be named heating, luminous and magnetic effects, chemical decomposition, etc., together with numerous apparent attractions and repulsions of matter widely differing from those originally noted, but all of which are attributed to a common cause. The subject is usually divided into the two parts of statical or frictional electricity, including the electricity produced by friction and analogous means, the phenomena of which are chiefly statical, and current electricity (also called voltaic electricity), including that produced by the chemical or voltaic battery and electromagnetic machines, the phenomena of which are mostly dynamical. The form of electricity first discovered was the frictional. The discovery is generally attributed to Thales (sixth century b. c.), who observed that amber, after being rubbed by silk, had the property of attracting light bodies, like bits of paper, bran, etc. It was subsequently discovered that glass, sulphur, resin, and many other bodies gained by friction this same property to a greater or less extent. When electricity is produced by the friction of silk on glass, that of the glass is called vitreous or positive electricity, while that of the silk rubber is called resinous or negative electricity. When produced by the friction of flannel or silk on sealing-wax, that of the wax is negative, and that of the flannel or silk rubber is positive. This distinction, which however, is properly explained as due to a difference of electrical potential (see potential), extends through the whole subject, by whatever means the electricity is produced. It is found universally true that the two kinds of electricity are produced in equal amounts. Besides friction, there are other means of exciting electricity, as pressure between two bodies or sudden fracture (by which means sugar becomes faintly luminous when broken in the dark). If a piece of sealing-wax is broken, the opposite ends will be found to be dissimilarly electrified. This is especially true of the fracture of cleavable minerals, like mica, calcite, etc. Some crystallized bodies become electrified by change of temperature: for example, a crystal of tourmalin, on being slightly warmed, becomes positively electrified at one extremity, and negatively at the other; if cooled, the poles are reversed. (See pyro-electricity.) For the chief means of obtaining a supply of frictional electricity, see electric machine, under electric, and electrophorus. The principal subjects considered under the head of statical electricity are the distribution of electricity over the surface of a conductor, as determined by its shape or the proximity of other electrified bodies (see density); the effect of induction or the production of an electrified state in a neutral body by approaching it to one already electrified, but without contact; the degree of induction, as determined by the nature of the non-conductor or dielectric (see induction, conductor, dielectric); the accumulation of electricity in a condenser, as a Leyden jar (see condenser, and Leyden jar, under jar); the measurement of capacity, potential, quantity, etc. (as with an electrometer); and the phenomena of discharge, as the spark-discharge, which takes place between oppositely electrified bodies when they are brought near together, the brush-discharge, etc. The electricity generated by friction and analogous means is in a state of high potential (see potential), but the quantity, and therefore the amount of electrical energy, is generally small; it has the power of overcoming great resistances and producing violent mechanical effects, as seen in the discharge of a Holtz machine, and still more strikingly in the case of lightning. Frictional electricity has found but few useful applications in the arts. The common means of producing current electricity is the voltaic battery. (See battery and cell.) Electrical currents may also be obtained by revolving a coil of wire in the space (magnetic field) between the poles of a steel magnet or electromagnet, so as to cut the lines of force between these poles. This principle is made use of in magneto-electric and dynamo-electric machines (see electric) to obtain powerful currents of electricity for practical use. A current may also be produced by soldering together two ends of two bars of different metals, connecting the other ends with a copper wire, and then heating (or cooling) the first point of union. This is called thermo-electricity, and the pair of metals is called a thermo-electrical couple; it is analogous to the voltaic couple, only here the electrical current is obtained at the expense of the heat supplied. (See thermo-electricity.) The principal subjects considered under the head of current electricity are the effects of the current in causing chemical decomposition (see electrolysis, electrometallurgy), in producing heat and light through the resistance of the medium, including the voltaic arc, and in the production of induced currents in a coil of wire, under certain conditions, by the action of another current or a magnet (see induction); the measurement of strength of current (as with a galvanometer or ampere-meter, which see), of electromotive force (as with a volt-meter), and of resistance (as with the electric bridge or ohm-meter), etc. The current electricity produced by the chemical battery or ordinary dynamo-machine differs from the statical electricity of the frictional or induction machine, in that the difference of potentials of the poles, or, in other words, the electromotive force of the current when the poles are connected, is relatively small, while the quantity of electricity is relatively enormously large. Correspondingly, ordinary current electricity has relatively very little power of overcoming a high resistance; no spark is obtained, even from a powerful battery, when the poles are separated by so much as a small fraction of an inch; but the current can do a large amount of work in producing chemical decomposition (as in the electrolysis of water), or mechanically, when transformed by an electric motor. Induced currents, however, as those produced by an induction-coil (which see), may have a very high electromotive force and consequent power of overcoming resistance.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The United States produces 3,145,892,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity every year. That's over three times the amount of the second-highest producing country, Russia.
    • Electricity name of the cause of certain phenomena of attraction and repulsion: the phenomena themselves: the science which investigates the nature and laws of these phenomena
    • ***


  • Charles Dickens
    “Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true.”
  • Napoleon Hill
    “Edison failed 10, 000 times before he made the electric light. Do not be discouraged if you fail a few times.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Faith is like electricity. You can't see it, but you can see the light.”
  • Martin Buber
    Martin Buber
    “When two people relate to each other authentically and humanly, God is the electricity that surges between them.”
  • Newt Gingrich
    Newt Gingrich
    “If Thomas Edison invented electric light today, Dan Rather would report it on CBS News as, Candle making industry threatened.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Flash'd from his bed the electric tidings came, he is no better, he is much the same.”


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. electrum—Gr. elektron, amber, in which electricity was first observed.


In literature:

My first thought in laying out a room is the placing of the electric light openings.
"The House in Good Taste" by Elsie de Wolfe
And so your train runs by an electrical battery, does it, my boy?
"Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue in the Big Woods" by Laura Lee Hope
But the electrical furnace could not be used on a commercial scale until the dynamo replaced the battery as a source of electricity.
"Creative Chemistry" by Edwin E. Slosson
Presently he saw an electric button on the side of the room, and he put his thumb on it.
"Golden Days for Boys and Girls, Vol. XII, Jan. 3, 1891" by Various
The electric lights were turned on full.
"Atlantis" by Gerhart Hauptmann
Mrs. Mason is at last reconciled to the idea of an electric cooker, and your new curtains look sweet.
"Berry And Co." by Dornford Yates
In the electric light Meyer Isaacson could see that his blue eyes were shining.
"Bella Donna" by Robert Hichens
This, in brief, is the genesis of magnetic electricity, which is the basis of all that has been accomplished in electrical science.
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 717, September 28, 1889" by Various
"Scientific American Supplement, No. 312, December 24, 1881" by Various
Electric lights were not even dreamed of.
"Stories of Great Inventors" by Hattie E. Macomber

In poetry:

I return to float
on my newspaper
and imagine
someday I will understand
"Waiting" by Ernesto Trejo
Said the Mirror skeleton
Hey good looking
Said the Electric Chair skeleton
Hey what's cooking?
"Ballad Of The Skeletons" by Allen Ginsberg
Then shall Love's gentle reign
Bind, with electric chain,
Each human heart to each,
Far as the race shall reach.
"Of Death And Life" by Alfred Gibbs Campbell
Before today my body was useless.
Now it's tearing at its square corners.
It's tearing old Mary's garments off, knot by knot
and see — Now it's shot full of these electric bolts.
Zing! A resurrection!
"The Kiss" by Anne Sexton
It may be that it does not move,
Or moves but for some other reason;
Then let it be your boast to prove
(Though some may think it out of season,
And worthy of a fossil Druid),
That there is no Electric Fluid.
"Answer To Tait" by James Clerk Maxwell
A LULL! and tongues of languid flame
Lick every boom, and lambent show
Electric 'gainst each face aloft;
The herds of clouds with bellowings go:
The black ship rears--beset--harassed,
Then plunges far with luminous antlers vast.
"The Haglets" by Herman Melville

In news:

"If electricity costs 10 cents a kilowatt, a heat pump will cost you 2.5 cents for the same amount of electric heat," he said.
Magician David Blaine channels bolts of electricity from various tesla coils charged with one million volts of electricity during a stunt on.
Driving the 1896 Roberts Electric, the world's oldest running electric car.
The whole-home humidifier , which uses electricity to boil the water, features a precise control algorithm that manages the water level to ensure 11.5 A of electricity is used during operation.
Charging stations charge by time or by amount of electricity used--amount of electricity is generally viewed as the fairer option.
The plant is part of government's measures to increase electricity generation by at least 650 megawatts in the next two to three years, Tanzania Electric Supply Co.
Two regional electric cooperatives, including Platte-Clay Electric, have sold their propane business to MFA Oil Co.
Erik & Jeremy entertained us with a multitude of genres of music using electric guitars, acoustic guitars, a Nord electric keyboard and an accordion.
Polaris Industries Inc announced a minority investment in Brammo, an Ashland, Ore.-based maker of electric vehicle technology and two-wheel electric vehicles.
Electric customers in Berlin could see lower electric bills i READ.
American Electric Power has agreed to sell a gas and electricity company in Australia to two Hong Kong-based companies for $181 million.
As electrical contractors search for new ways to get the most productivity out of their workers in one of the tightest labor markets in years, some contractors are developing prefabricated electrical systems to speed installation.
Protean Electric looks to revolutionize electric cars with in-wheel motors.
Electricity pylon This power line runs south from Tummel Bridge hydro-electric station.
Mercedes-Benz has kicked off a high-stakes bid for electric performance car supremacy with the unveiling of the production version of the SLS AMG Coupe Electric Drive at the Paris motor show.

In science:

The PC board was populated with discrete components with electrical specifications matching the main electrical parameters of such long microstrip detector DC coupled to the readout electronics.
First investigation of a novel 2D position-sensitive semiconductor detector concept
This produces an additional component of the electric field Ez parallel to the stripes, thereby eliminating the electric field zero.
Storage and Adiabatic Cooling of Polar Molecules in a Microstructured Trap
However, once it is in the electric field dominant region (EDR), particles are accelerated toward the direction of the electric field.
A Particle Simulation for the Axisymmetric Pulsar Magnetosphere: II. the case of dipole field
Thus, it is not clear that polar electric field is shielded on the pole if pair creation process is considered in detail and whether the polar electric flow needs pair creation in polar cap or not.
A Particle Simulation for the Axisymmetric Pulsar Magnetosphere: II. the case of dipole field
It was derived in classical optics, where ψ is the electric field, by expanding the index of refraction in powers of the electric field, keeping only the leading nonlinear term .
The Nonlinear Schroedinger Equation with a random potential: Results and Puzzles