Comment book archive: 2003


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Hi Mr or Mrs
I'm having troubles understanding electricity circuits (parallel and series) and how we solve them.
I need a very good explanation cause i'll be having a test after this weekend about static electricity and electrical circuits (i'm in ninth grade).So please send me an email as quick as possible.
Thank You,
Yasmin Gannam

Yasmin Gannam <yasmin89_11athotmail dt com >
Ottawa, Ont. Canada - Friday, December 26, 2003 at 12:43:09 (PST)

Two number 12 wires running through an outlet box will require a free space volume of what ?
Alfred <alatyahoo dt com >
Lake George, NY USA - Monday, December 22, 2003 at 16:00:16 (PST)
In the world of static electric electricity the Van de Graff generator is widly known to be able to produce high voltages. With todays state of the art devices and skills why is this voltage source not being harnessed. It would seem to me that by using a switching device to connect and disconnect the V.D.G. to a step down transformer one should be able to obtain a useable voltage. Uses could include but not be limited to charging batteries for electric cars.I know the oil companys wouldn't like that to happen but this has been let slide to long.
David C. Loll <hilltopper41>
Janesville, Wi. USA - Saturday, December 20, 2003 at 12:12:18 (PST)
I'm comparing hand vacuums. How do you know which is more powerful: one that specifies 9.6 volts or one that specifies 700 amps? Thanks
M. Graham <mg6780 ataol dt com >
Austin, TX USA - Friday, December 05, 2003 at 15:40:04 (PST)
I have a 12V 7Ah battery my monitor draws 2.2 amps how do I work out how long it should last? (the shop said 8 hours, but it is only last 2.5)
donna <donnastatrogers dt com >
toronto, on canada - Thursday, December 04, 2003 at 04:54:14 (PST)
How do you convert watts to amps or amps to watts
Ken Leanhart <katcoatbellsouth dt net >
Louisville, ky USA - Wednesday, December 03, 2003 at 05:39:21 (PST)
"STATIC ELECTRICITY" IS A BUILDUP OF ELECTRONS? (WRONG!) How do you explain the charge on a capacitor with out saying one plate has a buildup of electrons? [How do you explain the positive charge? Since it's not a buildup of electrons, then it's not a static charge?!! What is it? Easy. Just say "imbalance of charge" rather than "buildup." The positive plate has more positives and fewer negatives, giving a positive imbalance. The negative plate has fewer positives and more negatives, giving a negative imbalance. The imbalance is the key, and it doesn't matter how the imbalance was created (you can add electrons or you can remove positive ions, both actions create exactly the same negative imbalance.) -billb]
R Breitweg <breitweratbellsouth dt net >
Fort Lauderdale, Florida USA - Monday, December 01, 2003 at 01:27:55 (PST)
what are electrons?
nell <nellathotmail dt com >
york, ls12 england - Thursday, November 27, 2003 at 07:41:34 (PST)
{in respone to D.MCMurtray Monday, October 07, 2002 at 18:34:20 before i start, i know its a long time ago this was asked, but i think it mite intrest some people} asked why the switch is put on the hot leg of a circuit. The reason this is done is because if the switch was put on the "cold"(neutral) leg, and somone accidently touched the hot (live) wire the current would flow to the ground, via them, not very nice. if the switch is put on the live wire, it cuts all electricity flow to the device from the switch, so if the person decided to touch the wire then, they would be safe. Its a safety mechanisim, and i dont think many people would go about touching wires :) but it stops any current geting to the device. rather than just stoping the current getting to the earth Ewan
Ewan Cox <coxy_8athotmail dt com >
edinburgh, Scotland - Wednesday, November 26, 2003 at 17:17:44 (PST)
I have a device which needs 24V DC to run. I have a 24V AC Power Supply. Will this AC power supply be able to run the device or will it burn it out?
John Lee <jjlee48athotmail dt com >
Austin, TX USA - Monday, November 24, 2003 at 20:30:22 (PST)
i nned to know why does current take longer to flow through a longer wire using a high level explanation.
madeline <moleypoleyoleyathotmail dt com >
uk - Saturday, November 22, 2003 at 03:24:40 (PST)
Why is "I" used for Currents symbol instead of "C"?
[It stands for "intensity." A century ago we weren't entirely certain that electric current was a flowing substance. It was known as "electric intensity" rather than as a current of flowing electric charges. -billb]

Jessica <Carmelsweetie09ataol dt com >
Conroe, tx USA - Tuesday, November 18, 2003 at 09:25:15 (PST)
When I asked about 5 Ways to consersve electricity, they didn't bring it to me an di'd like to find it out by 6:15. E-mail me back at the E-mail above and if you don't I know your not so good after all
Alisha Bellehumeur <TSassy74atmsn dt com >
Milwaukee, Wi USA - Tuesday, November 11, 2003 at 15:57:47 (PST)
What type of electricity is produced by liquid reacting to two different metals? What are two examples?
wet alasde, PA USA - Sunday, November 09, 2003 at 13:54:39 (PST)
Hi,I am doing a science fair project this year.I have went to other web sites on electricity and could not find any info until my teacher tolled me about this web site.It has a lot of infoabout my project about electricity in the home.I have a question,do generators make electricity?
tana kersey <tana_amanda at yahoo>
Keystone, FL USA - Thursday, October 30, 2003 at 18:29:32 (PST)
How does electricity move work and when did it first appear?
Lisrielle <blu-screamsatyahoo>
philadelphia, pa USA - Thursday, October 30, 2003 at 16:50:41 (PST)
Hi! Love the quotes and the site! I'm a student teacher and they always ask us to be aware of possible misconceptions when planning lessons - so your site will prove very useful! Do you know of any sites with other science related miscaonceptions?
Lillian Bean <Ducky32ukataol dt com >
Maidstone, KENT UK - Thursday, October 30, 2003 at 12:09:19 (PST)
what type of substance conducts electrical energy without resistance?
kim <RoxyGirl_66atmsn dt com >
seattle, WA USA - Thursday, October 30, 2003 at 07:00:51 (PST)
For my 6th grade science fair I am trying to build a robot with ai.This has been giving me a lot of truble.My dad can build robots but he said I have to find out how and do all the layouts.I have surched many web sites and booksand have not fond very much.I was hoping you could give me all the info on layouts,how to build,what I will need,how to get it for cheap,how to make it talk,think,understand,move,learn,look like a human,and anything else to make it as human as posible.I was thinking about useing the ANN system...but I am not sure that will work the way I want it to.I could really use the help as soon as posible.THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
osceola, fl USA - Tuesday, October 28, 2003 at 18:03:25 (PST)
Why is it necessary to use AC for conductance measurements
spida <slyons07atpostoffice.csu dt edu .au>
wagga, nsw Australia - Tuesday, October 28, 2003 at 17:39:36 (PST)
Dear Sir Peace be with you My name is Noor and I am from India. Basically I am an Electronics diploma holder. I Had a lot of basic doubts in our department .I read many books and I asked many teachers to peter out my doubts, but none helped. So I was imposed to change my field and I am working as Pc Hardware and Networking engineer. But I don?t want to leave electronics field Yesterday when I was surfing thru Internet, luckily I saw your website, It excited me very much really it is a treasure. Yesterday was a great day for me, your wonderful efforts belighted my basic doubts about electronics. After fully understanding electronics I have a deep desire to teach the same to many students. But still I have a lot of doubts in semiconductor components, because electronic is my passion whenever some doubts arise it will start to nibble my brain. So can you please clear my doubts mentioned below:

1. Copper wire is a electron sea.OK.But is it able to conduct holes?
2. In the below diagram which charge will Positive lead distribute? If it distributes positive charge to P-type semiconductor the electron sea in the copper wire will neutralize the Positive charge right.
3. Then how there will be Holes circulation in P-type SC?
4. When PN-junction under forward bias, there will be large electron flow in N-region and Holes circulation in P-region, so they will cross junction and they will neutralize each other charge, then what will be the out put and how?
5. By seeing my above questions you might have assessed my electronics knowledge, so please refer me some good sites and books so that I can improve my electronics knowledge

Please intimate me when and where you will give answers for my questions.
Thanking you for your kind help for those who are deceived by teachers.
Sincerely Noor

Noor <nooriz_intatrediffmail dt com >
Chennnai, India - Saturday, October 25, 2003 at 05:23:41 (PDT)

I've struggled with this thought for a long time. A Van der Graff generator is said to generate up to 100,000v. But there is also mention that it is only capable of a few microamps of charge flow (I don't understand what limits the charge flow). My question is: If there is that much voltage on the terminals, how come humans won't get electrocuted by the current generated by this voltage. The second question that goes with this is: what is the difference between a voltage generated by rubbing a fur or a VDG and a voltage from a DC power supply? My thought is, if a 1000 v from a DC power supply can kill a person by pushing lots of charges through a person's body what stops a 1000v from a Van der Graff generator to do the same. Thankyou for your help. I enjoy your detailed explanations.
Facil <facilxatyahoo dt com >
Salt Lake City, UT USA - Tuesday, October 21, 2003 at 17:56:10 (PDT)
Reguarding the flow of electricity through conductive wire: We can observe that the magnetic lines of force project out at a 90 degree angle from an electric current. Fine and dandy. We also observe that in a straight length of wire the magnetic lines of force twist/rotate around the wire in a heliix. Therefore the electric 'flow' going through the wire MUST have a spin, or a twist, or both. In other words electric waves/particles (or wavicles? ie. current) must be spinning. The flow of current through a wire is not laminar, but helical. If electric current is a wave then it is a helicon wave (providing a new set of equations to apply to current). If current is a flow of physical particles only then those particles are either spinning as they move laminarly, or the entire particle is moving down a helical channel in the conductor (or both). AC electricity could be a double-helix, each wave/particle twisting around its oncoming partner as they pass.
Why are these observations not discussed in all the textbooks I've seen, as though it were uninteresting? I've seen some spin cohearance theory discussions concerning superconductors but not regualar conductors.Something fundamental about electric current and metalic conductors is being left out of education methinks. How can I visualize electric current (better still why does it bother me so much that I can't?!) What do you think?

Allen Anderson <ada604atyahoo dt com >
Edmonton, I AM Canadian! - Monday, October 13, 2003 at 11:12:57 (PDT)
Every text I've consulted writes, in a matter of fact way, that in a permenant magnet or an electromagnet the lines of force 'flow from the negative pole to the positive pole'. How do we "know" this? I have NEVER seen an experiment which proves this. How did this piece of information become accepted? Can you propose an experimental arrangment that can prove/disprove it? I wouldn't be asking, but I can't think of any way that someone could know this!! For example: If you make a transparent container of thick glycerine and mix in iron filings then insert a permenant magnet the filings line up along the lines of force. BUT they don't migrate from the neg to pos, they don't circulate at all. There might be some way of infering magnetic movement from the left-hand rule but I don't see it. HELP!!! BILL HELP!!!
Allen Anderson <ada604atyahoo dt com >
Edmonton, Canadia - Monday, October 13, 2003 at 10:39:51 (PDT)
Comment on -- The electric company bills us for kilo-watt hours used. Watts =volts x amps. If a 40 watt fluorescent bulb is wired to 110 volts or to 277 volts it will use 40 watts. How, then, does it fly that it is more economical to use high voltage when possible?

The line loss through a conductor is a function of its cross section and the current flowing through it (plus the type of conductor). This line loss results in heat being dissipated in the material. So, for higher currents, you will need more material to handle the heat and to limit it's line loss.

The line loss is not dependent upon Voltage! There lies the rub. If you keep the current down, but raise the voltage you can provide more Power with the same line loss.

To increase power by raising the current is not econimical. You'll need heavier cable and stronger towers to achieve the same increase in power.

When you raise the voltage, you will have to increase the spacing between adjacent lines so that arcing through the air doesn't happen.

Hope that helps.
John Magerowski <johnatmagerowski dt com >
Fredericksburg, VA USA - Saturday, October 11, 2003 at 09:02:52 (PDT)

Hello Bill, A truly inspiring site you have. Can you explain the difference between voltage and current with respect to electron flow?? To make my question more specific -->>consider a simple electric circuit with a battery and a resistor. The electrons move through the resistor - we say that there is a potential drop across the resitor- question - what have the electrons lost while moving through the resistor?? certainly not momemtum since the velocity is same (as current does not decrease). Is it energy? But energy is a function of velocity..

Another illustration. I have two wires. Both carry the same current (say 1a), but one has a Voltage of 1000v and the other 10v. Now look at the electrons; they are moving with the same velocity since current is same through both. So what is the difference? You might say the that the electric fields aren't the same.But again E=F/Q= mv/(tQ). V->velocity is same for both wires. Is it electrical pressure? I don't think so; area is insignificant here.

PLEASE ANSWER MY QUESTION. I am currently battling this issue with my electronics lecturer.
Kollol Das <call_old_assatyahoo.co.uk>
Bangalore, KA India - Thursday, October 02, 2003 at 08:27:15 (PDT)

The electric company bills us for kilo-watt hours used. Watts =volts x amps. If a 40 watt fluorescent bulb is wired to 110 volts or to 277 volts it will use 40 watts. How, then, does it fly that it is more economical to use high voltage when possible?
Jim Nichols <fenjanatjuno dt com >
Westland, MI USA - Wednesday, September 17, 2003 at 20:22:36 (PDT)
Why is static electricity present in fabric sortners? Also, what particles in fabric softners make it possible for static electricty to be presnt?
Heather Stanford <heatherluvstevenathotmail dt com >
cobb, ga USA - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 at 12:12:31 (PDT)
why does the filament of a bulb get hot, but the wires to the bulb do not?
[The short answer: the filament is far narrower than the wires to the bulb. Wires are like hoses, and if you have a narrow hose connected to a thick hose, then the water must flow lots faster as it enters the narrow one. But wires are like sand-filled hoses. There's lots of friction, so if you try to pump the "electric fluid" very fast, the wires get hot. The thin wire gets extremely hot because the charges must flow so much faster. -billb]

tash <bogus_bill48athotmail dt com >
uk - Tuesday, September 16, 2003 at 10:43:37 (PDT)
while standing on a wooden table and touching the live wire of the three pin point plug CAN WE GET ELECTRIC SHOCK??
rahul sharma <ecrahulatyahoo dt com >
noida, up INDIA - Tuesday, September 09, 2003 at 11:06:52 (PDT)
I'm trying to connect a lightbulb to a battery, but i don't know what conducts electricity?
Eric <dhollingsatmill dt net >
CA USA - Friday, September 05, 2003 at 15:54:48 (PDT)
What conducts electricity?
Eric <dhollingsatmill dt net >
Escondido, CA USA - Friday, September 05, 2003 at 15:45:41 (PDT)
Commenting on: "Electric charges are easily visible to human eyes, even though their motion is not. When you look at a metal wire, you can see the charges of electricity which flow during electric currents. They are silvery/metallic in color. During an electric current, it is the "silvery" stuff that flows along. All metals are full of charge, that's why they appear metallic. During electric currents in metals, the atoms stay still, but the silvery stuff flows slowly along." The term "silvery" is misleading here in that it gives the idea that the electron sea is what gives the metal its visible properties. But that would mean that in circuits containing both gold and silver wires, the "gold" would start flowing over to the silver (and vice versa) in the direction of the current. I'm not debating the sea of charge giving the metallic look, just that the term "silver" is loaded and thus misleading because the visible properties of the substance must be determined by more than that sea (hence gold is gold and platinum is not etc.) Perhaps a rewording of that paragraph is warranted. On a whole I wanted to say that this website has been invaluable in removing the cloud of confusion surrounding fundamental scientific principles which seemed to conflict and had bothered me for a long time.
Warren Falk <warren at warrenfalk dot com>
Cincinnati, OH USA - Thursday, August 28, 2003 at 15:49:35 (PDT)
what is the proper way to discharge a capacitor?
jim eales <jeemij2ataol dt com >
proctor , mn USA - Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 21:14:53 (PDT)
This site is really amazing!!!! I want to know what exactly happens 'when a capacitor conducts AC and blocks DC'.
Anukool <anukool_devalathotmail dt com >
Mumbai, India - Friday, August 22, 2003 at 07:03:42 (PDT)
can you get an electric shock by touching the electrical contacts in a uk light bulb holder (240v) when on.
david jason
USA - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 19:12:38 (PDT)
these questions have bugged me for as long as i can remember, and nobody seems to be able to answer them for me! if you had a lamp plugged in and switched on at the wall, but switched off at the lamp itself, is there electricity in the cord? where is it and what is it doing? if it isnt, how does it "know" when the lamp is switched on?

[ See the electricity FAQ, question #25, for a bit of info. Also see #9, #26.
The wires are already full of "electric stuff," and the electric company is just a pumping service. When you turn off the switch, the "stuff" cannot move anymore. It's like having a drive belt and applying the brakes at one spot. The whole belt ceases to move. The "stuff" remains in the wires. It was always there. In other words, wires are made of "electricity" (metals contain electrons and protons.) All matter is made of charges. Conductors contain charges which are movable, insulators contain charges which are frozen in place. Batteries and generators are "electricity pumps", while wires act like fluid-filled pipes. -billb]

Nelson, New Zealand - Tuesday, August 12, 2003 at 02:39:14 (PDT)

Can you give me a basic guide of how to use a multimeter, my knowledge about electronics is just amateur. Thanks on advance
Ricardo Avila <waspmediaatprodigy dt net .mx>
Guadalajara, Jal M?ico - Sunday, August 03, 2003 at 12:20:27 (PDT)
Can you help me ? 1km from my property they are constructing a sub station for electricty. A pylon will be erected behind the sub station to bring the relevant cables to the station, from then they will run underground to the relevant outlets. Apparently it is 11KW and the lines are 66KV lines. The installer has stated that there is no danger to anybody if this sub station is erected !!!!

kelly hicks <krhicks835ataol dt com >
africa - Thursday, July 31, 2003 at 08:05:17 (PDT)

Can you tell me one or two chemical reactions that result in production of electricity?
Samuel <samex05atyahoo dt com >
k'la, Uganda - Friday, July 25, 2003 at 04:48:25 (PDT)
There have been couple of evenings I have been outside and happened to look up at the wires and noticed them bouncing. Was just curious as to what causes that?! They don't always bounce. Just every now and then (wind isn't even blowing!). Actually, I guess it's pretty much the biggest wire. That's what I've noticed. Myself and some of friends that have noticed that would greatly appreciate and explanation. Thank you.
[I think it's wind, but very very slow wind, like a couple of MPH. Fast wind makes the wires vibrate. Slow wind causes slower vibration. If the wind speed is just right, the vibration speed of the wire is the same as the natural swing rate of the wire, so the swinging motion will grow huge. -billb]

becky <rrstjohnatchartermi dt net >
lake linden, mi USA - Wednesday, July 23, 2003 at 12:06:30 (PDT)
What is VA and KVA ? Best regards
Tito Daniel <daniel.titoatgacworld dt com >
Luanda, AO Angola - Tuesday, July 15, 2003 at 03:22:59 (PDT)
Why water conducts electricity?
[It's full of salty impurities. Ultra-pure water is a very bad conductor. -billb]

Quy Huynh <qhuynh1atatt dt net >
San Jose, CA USA - Friday, July 04, 2003 at 12:06:29 (PDT)
here is a question, Technician A says that in a electrical circuit, voltage can exist without current. Technician B says that current cannot exist without voltage. Who is correct? PLEASE HELP!!!!!!!!!
RICk <Tikki70 athotmail dt com >
Uniontown, PA USA - Wednesday, July 02, 2003 at 19:21:27 (PDT)
Say you have a simple DC circuit (ideal wires) with a variable source and a single resistor. Now you increase the potential diff so that the current through the resistor doubles. Is it just the speed of the moving charge the doubles or does the density of the moving charges also change. If the density were to increase slightly then the speed would be a bit less than doubled in order to cause twice the current. Since the volume of my system has not changed and I have not injected any electrons into the system I would think that the density couldn't change. Therefore the speed would have to double. Can you please confirm this or set me straight. Thanks.
Bob Turcke <Turckebathotmail dt com >
Kingston, On Canada - Tuesday, June 24, 2003 at 15:35:48 (PDT)
I'm in a basic electrical class for automotive technician. I'm trying to figure out how math equates to electricity. especially with the ohm's law. E=voltage I=current, and R= resistance theres like a formula to use and how to get amps and so forth any idea's on calculating the following values, when R1 =2 ohm's and R2 = 4ohm's I know the total circuit resistance will be 6 ohm's But I'm lost on the circuit current = ____ amps, current through R1 = ____amps current through R2= ___ amps. voltage drop across R1 = __volts. and voltage drop across R2= ____volts. Also when the resistance of R1 is increased to 8 ohm's, what would be the new values thanks for any help I really appreciate it see ya later have a great day :P
Thomas Malpass <tommalpassathotmail dt com >
Stockholm, NJ USA - Monday, June 23, 2003 at 13:30:32 (PDT)
Hi cool site. How do you make electricity ie hydro what are the other ways to make electricity. Thanks
Brian <brian40nzatxtra.co.nz>
nz - Sunday, June 01, 2003 at 15:55:01 (PDT)
Hi I was browsing around researching static electricity when i came by your site.

I have always had a lot of shocks from static electricity all my life. Then just over two years ago when i met my partner, everything just got worse.

If we are walking in a place with a lot of electricity ie a supermarket or a large shopping centre, when he touches me i get a massive shock. We only have to brush past each other, maybe his arm touches me or my finger touches him and i get a zap. My partner thinks this is really funny. He takes great delight in putting his finger on me and hearing the crackle. However i have to say it is getting worse and after a trip to the shops on Saturday my left arm was painful for an hour or two because i had so many shocks.

It was so bad, that as an experiment my partner asked me to touch his and my fingers together. We did this and i got a huge shock which you could hear the spark from, as we very often can.

Can anyone in the simplest of terms explain this to me. I know we all get a shock now and then but for me this is becoming unbearable. We do not even have to make contact with each other, just brushing past each other will cause me to have a shock.

Can anyone help or advise me?
Sue <sue3003athotmail dt com >
UK - Wednesday, May 14, 2003 at 04:56:44 (PDT)

If I understand correctly, rubbing a balloon on a person's hair will cause electrons to be transferred to the balloon creating an imbalance of protons and electrons within the person's hair. So how does the hair get it's perfect balance back after being rubbed on a balloon? Where do the electrons come from to make an even number of protons and electrons in the hair?
Keith <nel100atbellsouth dt net >
Madison, Al USA - Sunday, May 11, 2003 at 19:09:09 (PDT)
what is active neutral and earth mean in terms of electricity in the home
Liz <lizzychick139athotmail dt com >
sydney, nsw australia - Saturday, May 10, 2003 at 20:21:00 (PDT)
This is very good site for Electrical Engineering. i have one doubt,pls clarify it. As per ohms law voltage is directly propotional to current.But after generation the voltage is increased while the current gets decreased in the Transormers for transmission. How the current gets decreased while the voltage is increased if they are directly propotional? expecting your favourable answer soon. thanks and regds sakthivel subramaniam
sakthivel subramaniam <sakthi.evergreenatsifymail dt com >
bangalore, Karnataka India - Monday, May 05, 2003 at 22:19:48 (PDT)
When was electricity first introduced to the American home?
Charles Cherry <ccherry142ataol dt com >
USA - Friday, May 02, 2003 at 18:14:49 (PDT)
Hey I love your site and just wanted to thank you for all the time placed into it. It has helped me alot to figure out my future in electronics. However, I am a senior in high school and schools almost out and before I start taking the electronic classes in college, I was wondering if you could tell me how to practice with circuit boards and all the pieces. I have bought a cheep beginner in electronics board in which the way to connect power to led or resistors etc is by connecting a wire to a spring. How is it possible to make my own circuit without saudering? THANKS!!
Josh <armymilatyahoo dt com >
Waiphu, HI USA - Thursday, April 24, 2003 at 01:12:49 (PDT)
How does your electricity meter know how much power you have used?
Grant Le Sage <grantlesageatyahoo dt com >
London, UK - Thursday, April 17, 2003 at 05:34:45 (PDT)
I'm doing an electricity report. Can you tell me the answers for these questions? 1) What is hydro electricity? 2) What is solar electricity?
Abby Sywe <readfunatyahoo dt com >
Cupertino, CA USA - Tuesday, April 15, 2003 at 19:25:33 (PDT)
I don't know if this an area you discuss but here goes. I have 6 tanning beds and would like to add another. I have a 3 phase 200amp panel that is running the existing beds at approx. 290amps. There are 340amps of breakers on that panel. One electrician says you should be able to run another 60 amps off of 3 phase with no problem and the other says no way, you need another panel. Any idea what the heck is up? Thanks
Jamie Pavlas <supjam1atattbi dt com >
Cotuit, MA USA - Tuesday, April 08, 2003 at 14:04:53 (PDT)
What is a paralell circut?
E. Rooney
USA - Monday, April 07, 2003 at 10:54:36 (PDT)
how does electricity flow
adam <freakie12athotmail dt com >
St. Marys, ON Canada - Tuesday, April 01, 2003 at 17:05:56 (PST)
This is a very enlightening site. I'm trying to help my 3rd grader with his science project. Can plants generate electricity? HELP!!!!!!!!!
Denise McGUire <denise.mcguireathccs dt edu >
Houston, TX USA - Monday, March 24, 2003 at 11:05:49 (PST)
I have a question how do you find out what size wire to use when you are running a wire? What is your formulas to figure out this question?
Kenneth Gunthorpe <Booreynoldsatnetzero.com>
Chiefland, FL USA - Tuesday, March 18, 2003 at 11:34:58 (PST)
what happens to electricity power lines on a hot summers day?
joanna rock <sparklestar_jojoathotmail dt com >
london, uk - Saturday, March 15, 2003 at 13:06:14 (PST)
I was just trying to find out if it takes more electrictiy to switch a light on and off a number of times, or to just leave it on. Thanks, Darcie
Darcie <jezmund05atyahoo dt com >
Wilmington, NC USA - Tuesday, March 04, 2003 at 20:14:38 (PST)
Electricity is a bitch. Having been electronics engineer for years some time ago, I just got caught by few misconceptions myself, lucky they weren't critical. Still embarrassing experience.

It was very nice read and refreshing. good work!
- Saturday, March 01, 2003 at 11:14:34 (PST)

We use AC (alternating current) instead of DC (Direct current) because it is much more cost effective over long distances. If you look on the internet you can probably find the story about the World Fair taking bids on lighting the whole fair. Don't take these numbers for certain but the story amounts to this: Thomas Edison had argued that DC was the best way to provide power, but his bid was considerably higher to light the World fair than the bid of George Westinghouse. Here's the rest of the story. George Westinghouse was a young engineer who was working hard on a radical form of electricity, alternating current. He got his big break when he won the contract to do lighting for the 1893 fair. Westinghouse put in a full electrical system, with a generating plant, transformers, motors, the works. The success of his efforts in Chicago were so impressive that in the summer of 1893, Alternating Current was choosen for the great Niagra project under construction and Westinghouse got the contract to install the initial 5,000 horsepower generators. [Hunter and Bryant, pp. 248] One of the keys to the successful use of AC in Chicago was the rotary converter, exhibited by both Westinghouse and General Electric. This device allowed the coupling of old DC systems to the new AC grid. Chicago Edison, for example, was able to start shutting down local DC stations, using AC for long-haul transmission and converting to DC at the local districts. Backwards compatability has remained one of the key attractions for any technology to be successful. [Hughes, p. 210]
Troy DeVillier <Troyd879atyahoo dt com >
nederland, texas USA - Friday, February 28, 2003 at 16:38:04 (PST)
try to give a little more useful information. I'm trying to do a science fair project and need useful info one elcitricity and elecrical currents and batteries and junk!!!!
heather <mcgooatemployees dt com >
Santa barbara, ca USA - Wednesday, February 26, 2003 at 21:25:52 (PST)
I enjoyed reading the material at your site, but do have a question. What is the origin of the term I for current that is always treated as a given by everyone, but never defined?
Manuel Tamargo <matamargoataol dt com >
USA - Tuesday, February 25, 2003 at 18:50:52 (PST)
why does distilled water (theoretically) not conduct elactricity?
sami and brian <chimpchick09atyahoo dt com >
clayton, de USA - Tuesday, February 25, 2003 at 11:37:14 (PST)
[ Pure water is not a conductor, and neither is a vacuum. Air and oil also don't conduct. The reason is the same for all: a "conductor" is a substance which contains movable charges. But many books give wrong info because they tell us that a conductor is a substance which lets charges pass through. Yet air and oil do not block charges. So why are they such good insulators? It's because "condutor" does not mean "lets charges pass through", it means "contains charges which start moving when even a tiny voltage is applied." ]
in response to "Electricity is not energy" first off baterries do not "produce" electricity, and light bulbs do not consume it, it is changed into heat and light energy and dissipated
e-learning <alearningatvoila.fr>
faches, fr - Monday, February 24, 2003 at 12:46:31 (PST)
Loved your site, so much that I forwarded the link to my coleagues (1 economist, 1 finance accountant: both quite tame). You story about electricity not quite keeping up with light rema9inds of two stories: the french utility planner who insisted on telling the European Commission that electric power flow couldn't be tracked "because of the electrons being in brownian motion at the speed of light" (we asked him how hot EdF's conductors got); and the merchant banker who got very concerned that ScottishPower were sending 'guid Scottish electrons' down the new interconnector to England (I assured him that we only lent them for 10msec before asking for them back, and anyway they couldn't get very far south of the border in such a short time. I think he still thinks the nasty English are still stealing something from us!). More power to you: I've added another fascinating site to my Favourites
James Toal <jim.toalatpacificorp dt com >
Portland, OR USA - Monday, February 24, 2003 at 12:03:53 (PST)
I have a question. All my life I have suffered from static shock when other people around me do not. I also blow lightbulbs when I turn on a light. Sometime it blows so bad a hole is made in the glass. it doesn't matter where I live or go. I've done it in doctors offices. I cannot control it but it is worse when I am angey. Can you explain this to me or tell me where I can go to find an ansewr? Thanks, DeLoris
DeLoris <delorism50ataol dt com >
Piqua, Oh USA - Sunday, February 09, 2003 at 19:51:52 (PST)
How would your day in the city change if the power source of Electricity and Elcetrical Technology were removed?
Niko <greek_man20athotmail dt com >
austin, tx USA - Saturday, February 08, 2003 at 18:26:43 (PST)
How can electrity go and how many voltages does it take.
Samson <loftin4atearthlink.net>
san Jose, Ca USA - Wednesday, February 05, 2003 at 20:30:05 (PST)
What is the difference between 220v single phase and three phase in wiring?
Andre <josephiii_53404atyahoo dt com >
Racine, WI USA - Friday, January 24, 2003 at 11:35:06 (PST)
I am 14 years old, "I AM INTREASTED IN THIS" I WANT TO ASK,that you said that electrict energy is photon.And also it moves at the speed of light then, how can photon move at the speedof light,although they are heavy then electrons.(electron moves at very slow speed than, if we consider them still,relative speed of photons would increase to speed of electrons,but not as fast as light). mail me at parthpatel_28athotmail dt com I W I LL BE WAITING.
parth patel <parthpatel_28athotmail dt com >
baroda, Gujarat 1ndia - Friday, January 24, 2003 at 07:19:58 (PST)
Ohhh Man! I thought I knew about electricity! I'm a 63 year old grandfather, out to help my 7th grade grandson set up an electrical project for a science show. Now I have to re-learn, and hope he forgets all the stuff I put in his head over the weekend! Love this site--I'll be back! Perry T.
Perry Thompson <pgthompsonatualr dt edu >
Little Rock, AR USA - Tuesday, January 14, 2003 at 13:29:23 (PST)
Jacob Ivey <jacobsdemonsatjesusanswers dt com >
lexington, KY USA - Tuesday, January 14, 2003 at 06:28:43 (PST)
This is not a coment, but a question. What is the diference between a parallel and a series circuit. I really need a drewing.
Buck Barker <eal757atmetrocast dt net >
Rochester, NH USA - Wednesday, January 08, 2003 at 08:05:43 (PST)
Could you please answer the questions from an earlier posting? Ironically, my 12 year old had exactly the same 2 questions! :How much does electricity weigh? And also, does computer data (not the media it's written on) have any mass and/or motion? How much, if any, would data on my computer's hard disk weigh, per kilobyte? Does a 400k Jpeg weigh more than a 400k mp3? Russell McVeigh London, UK - Sunday, August 04, 2002 at 06:53:29
Cam Adamson <cam.adamsonatcox dt net >
Irvine, CA USA - Tuesday, January 07, 2003 at 14:53:21 (PST)
I attatched two nine volt batteries together and I noticed that the batteries began to get warm and grew warmer the longer they were stuck together. I would like to know why this happened. Can you give me an explanation? Thanks!
Danny Diaz <rinkratsfiveathotmail dt com >
Norwalk, CT USA - Tuesday, January 07, 2003 at 06:53:14 (PST)
Why is it that there is a spring insted of a whire where you put a battery
Matt H8
taos, nm USA - Thursday, January 02, 2003 at 15:06:41 (PST)
hello your site told me a lot about electricity but there is one question that nobody in my class including my teacher couldn't answer it came up when we were actually studying about the 4 matters (liquid, solid, gas, and plasma.) I asked my tacher what matter electricity was but he didn't know.It turned into a class discussion, some argued it was liquid, some said it was gas, anhd some said it was plasma. After a whole class of discussing it nobody even had a clue what it was. So if u answer my question i would be very greatful. Thanks, Michael
micheal davidson <ikenan2000atyahoo dt com >
boston, MA USA - Thursday, January 02, 2003 at 14:22:12 (PST)
Nice page, with alot of information I can understand! I do have a question though, How is Energy Produced? Thanks for your help! :)
Yonkers, N.Y. USA - Wednesday, January 01, 2003 at 15:44:17 (PST)

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