Why do some people say "We don't
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On another note...
The word "electricity" has several
definitions, and the
directly contradict each other. "Electricity," besides being a quantity
physics-history, also refers to a class of phenomena. In other
words, the term "electricity" is just like the words "optics," or
"weather," or "government."
Would you agree with this statement: "When you get right down to it, we
don't really know what Optics truly is"?
But that's silly. We darned well know what Optics really is, in exquisite
detail. It's a human-determined word, after all. We also know just what
Weather really is, and also Government.
And in the same vein, we're all aware that computers and radios are
"electronics," but flashlights and doorbells are "electricity!"
Heh, and now you know what Electricity really is. It's just circuitry
that contains no tubes or transistors! (Lenses and prisms are Optics,
while switches and batteries are Electricity. Now you know exactly
what electricity really is.) In other words, I might knock over a bucket
at the surplus junk-store, and Optics pours out, while that big plastic
tub over there is full of Electricity ...and Electronics is piled up in
that other room. WHAT'S THAT SMELL? It looks like you've stepped in some
Biology, and now you've tracked it all over the rug!
So, according to at least one Ambrose, electricity is "the power."
Doesn't this mean that the true Quantity of Electricity is to be
measured... in Watts?! Heh.
If we inspect nearly every book below the undergraduate college level,
they'll teach us what Electricity actually is. It's not the "Charge" of
Maxwell/Faraday/Einstein/etc. It's not the phenomena-class like
Weather. Instead, they claim that electricity is the current! Humm, so now
the nitrogen/oxygen has become "the wind," and we have no word for "air?"
And, if the
river-water halts its flow, it means the water has vanished, ...since the
word "water" now actually means current? Yep. Modern school books
contradict the centuries-old historical use of the term "electricity."
They teach kids that electricity is the flowing motion of
electrons, not the old physics version, where electricity is the
So, if "electricity" is now the flowing-motion, what exactly is flowing
inside the wires? Heh, the books say that "electricity" is flowing. OF
COURSE! Why didn't I think of that! When some
electricity starts flowing, its flowing motion is also called
"electricity!" So twisted!
So now, when discussing circuit-analogies, we must teach our students
that, whenever we turn on a kitchen faucet, no water results, but only a
bunch of "flow" comes out? What stuff is flowing inside the plumbing
pipes? Answer: "current" is flowing! Not water. Turn on the faucet, and
you can fill your bucket with "current." Next, we eliminate the word
"water," never mention it anywhere, and also teach that the H2O molecule
is a tiny particle of "current.")
This is not any joke.
In physics, the electron may correctly be called a "charge-carrier" ...but
in every text in electrical engineering, instead we call the electron by
the name "current'carrier." It's true. Go and look. The same texts don't
discuss charge-conservation. Instead they call it Conservation of Current.
(As I said, they don't know the difference between air versus wind.
oxygen molecules? Those are the tiny particles made out of wind, eh, eh?)
And so, today the electron has become a tiny particle made of "current."
Might you begin to suspect that this problem with contradictions with
"electricity" language could be a source of wide confusion, if not a
galloping meme-infection that takes over all minds and textbooks? For
decades, the electrons were the electricity itself. But instead today,
the electrons' flowing motion has become "the electricity." The quantity
of electricity was supposed to be measured in coulombs. (So says the
international metric system, the SI units and the NIST.)
Yet all the grade-school books contradict this, and instead teach us that
the "amount of electricity" must be measured in coulombs-per-second flows.
Also called "Amperes." Electricity today has become nothing but a rate,
quantity of electricity is now the Amp. (See? They don't know the
difference between air and wind. During the wind, what exactly is moving
along? Wind is moving! After all, "wind blows," right? Nobody ever
"air is blowing!" Whenever we breathe, we're inhaling tiny molecules of
Sheesh! Sorry. It's now 40 years later I still get worked up about this
stuff. The mistakes all seem intentionally crafted to confuse every
student in the grade-school system. And worse, the same mistakes are
spreading to the expert level, becoming endemic in engineering, and
causing physicists to stop using the word "electricity." Maybe we should
all just do like RP
Feynman. Call it Wakalixies and be done!
But What is Electricity really?
Aaag. Slooooowly I turned. Step by step, inch by inch (raises hands shaped to form claws.) You think
I'm just foolin', until I start with the "WHAT'S THE ELECTRICITY AMBROSE?!
WHAT'S THE ELECTRICITY AMBROSE?!!!"