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Power Basics

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“Electricity is really just organized lightning” – George Carlin (2001)

Electricity can be as simple as the crackling of your cat’s fur when you brush her on a dry day … or as huge as the power plants that supply entire cities and states with the energy they need. How do you learn more about it? Let’s plug in!

What is Electricity and How Does it Get to Our Homes?

 Plug with electricity   Come take a quick trip through the basics, and find out where electricity comes from and how it reaches the outlet on your wall. Want more detail? There’s even more stuff about electric power here, like how do you measure electricity (hint: not with a ruler!) and what’s the difference between the AC power that comes to your house and the DC power in your computers and appliances?  You’ll even find out how to make your own electromagnet!

What Are They Talking About? 

Xmas Tree   When you’re talking about power, a “scrubber” has nothing to do with shampoo, a “Christmas Tree” doesn’t have any needles, and you’d better not ever drink the “coke.” What do those words really mean? Dive into the world of power slang, and find out!

Smiling boy with light bulb   Of course, that’s just the start. Folks who work with electricity use dozens of unfamiliar terms every day, talking about kilowatts, volts, dynamos, and more. To help you look things up quickly, here’s a BIG A-to-Z glossary of terms used in the electric field. Ready … set … charge!


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