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Electricity (Fall 2012)

            What is electricity? To many of us the way we see electricity doesn’t go beyond such thing as an energy supply which powers our houses, for heating, and power appliances and our electronics. But electricity goes beyond that. Looking back at the origin of electricity we can see how electricity changed the course history. We will see the great people that contributed to this invention. Also how this invention has changed how we as people live today because without electricity we would be able to advances in technology therefore I would not be writing this paper and submitting it online. We wouldn’t be able to call our long distance relatives as communication would be tougher. 

            Electricity dates all the way back to the 600-530 BC’s. During this time Thales of Miletos was the first and earliest known researcher of electricity. Thales was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher from Miletus in Asia Minor. As the first researcher and observer of electricity, Thales observed series of static electricity. Even though he was wrong on his idea of the relation between the friction and the amber magnetic but he was headed in the right direction because in later years scientist found that there was a link between electricity and magnetism. 

            During Thales’s time electricity was a new concept even though ancient cultures like the Egyptians had knowledge of the electric fish. The concept of electricity was vague for millennia until the 1600s. During the 1600s navigation was inaccurate and unreliable. Queen Elizabeth wanted navigation to be accurate, she ordered Gilbert William to study the effects of magnets on compasses. This allowed them to have the compass be more accurate allowing then to navigate effectively. Gilbert William was the first to invent the machine that would be able to identify a charged object. He later in his career established the difference between electricity that was magnetic and static.

            It wasn’t until the 18th century where extensive research was done on electricity.  In the 18th century Benjamin Franklin did lots of extensive research. In June of 1752, for the first time he was able to attract a key to the bottom of dampened kite string. These experiments allow him to come up with a theory that the nature of lightning was electrical. Electricity is not only relevant in power which powers our phones and such but it’s also relevant in the human body. It wasn’t until the late 1700s when Luigi Galvami discovered his findings of Bioelectricity. Bioelectricity is the electrical and magnetic component that is produced by living cells and the human body.

            One example that I presented in my paper about the force of history would be how Queen Elizabeth asked Gilbert William to prefect the navigation system by studying magnet and its effect on the compass. This would be an example of Earth and Environment. In the history force handout in mentions Earth and Environment: “Geography and the natural environment have an impact upon nations and individuals. England developed uniquely during to being separated by the English Channel from other countries in Europe. Humans have an impact upon the environment and in turn, are impacted by it (pollution, quality of life).” The mastering of the compass allows the English to spread their culture and also go to different parts of the world.

            Electricity took a major turn in the 1900s. During the 19th century, there was a rapid growth in the science field especially electrical science which included electrical engineering. Electrical engineering allowed scientist to have electrical devices such as the telegraphs, light bulb and electric motors. Many people call the 19th century as the era of electricity because of the rapid growth of electricity studies and the inventions of the very first electric motors and devices. If we take the light bulb as an example of electricity innovation, we can see how electricity was such an area where people’s imagination and curiosity passed through. First created by Thomas Edison, the light bulb created with the very finding of electricity was one of the greatest inventions. I find this invention to be ground breaking because during that time people were not expecting anything such as the light bulb.

            The light bulb is another great example of a force in history because it played a big role in the science and technology history making. The introduction of the light bulb changed the economics especially for companies.  After the invention of the light bulb there were the inventions of new and better light bulbs that were more efficient therefore saving people money. Many people did not realize the difference in cost of different bulbs. This can also show the role of a specific individual because Thomas Edison was a role model for the many inventors to come after him. There were also environmental issues because different light bulbs had different levels of mercury which was toxic and can make for bad living conditions for some.

            With all the technological advances we have today, we don’t have to worry about any damage a florescent bulb can do to us because we are very careful about how we produce our products. And also the cost is affordable and the bulb is efficient. Overall the discovery of electricity was one of the most historical events that are important to me as it is motivating to many other inventors.

            Today, electricity has allowed us to do many great things. Without electricity computers would be useless. In the current time, people don’t think about the history of historical events, inventions, and discoveries which is a little disappointing to me because the way I see it they deserve remembrance. If we didn’t have electricity what would we be doing right now/ sometimes I ask myself questions such as this and brainstorm ideas of how we would be living without electricity.

            Electricity, a source of energy and power that allows us to live so very comfortably. That allows us to communicate freely.  Cool our homes, heat our home in the harshest weather. In the 21st century we have come up with new ways to create energy (electricity) like wind power ect. We are still running out of clean energy due to high demands and also the population. “Almost every way we make electricity today, except for the emerging renewables and nuclear, puts out CO2. And so, what we're going to have to do at a global scale is create a new system. And so, we need energy miracles. Bill Gates”

            The history of electricity which dates back to ancient civilizations has brought us to this modernized society where living conditions are magnified by millions compared to the Egyptians civilization. Electricity has allowed us to do more for ourselves and our society. Communication, transportation, educations have all benefited from the very findings of scientist thousands of years ago. 

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