Electricity is a mysterious force.

We can’t see it, we can’t hold it, but we know when it’s working. It really is hard to know exactly what it is.

Electricity is an energy. Energy can be thought of as having the ability to change the way something moves.

Energy comes in different forms: heat, light, movement, electrical, chemical, sound, elastic, nuclear energy, and gravitational.

We use energy for everything we do, from playing basketball to baking cookies to sending astronauts into space!

There are two types of energy, stored (potential) energy and working (kinetic) energy.

  • Kinetic energy is moving energy, arising from an object’s movement,

  • Potential energy is stored energy, arising from an object’s position and can be stored.

Classifying one particular form of energy into one or the other can be difficult, as they often display properties of both.

Electrical energy is a form of energy we ar e very familiar with and use every day.

The word ‘electricity’ comes from the Greek word ‘elektron’ meaning amber. Amber is a yellow, fossilised rock found in tree sap.

As early as the 16th century, Dr. William Gilbert, the Court Physician to Queen Elizabeth I, realised that a force was created when a piece of amber was rubbed with wool and attracted light objects. This force is known as ‘static electricity’.