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Carbon Atom
Beginner overview of electricity, using the water analogy… What do you think?-

Electricity seems very difficult for most people to understand. You can’t properly see it, you can’t properly feel it and you can’t taste it or smell it so what is it? It travels quite well through metals and generally poorly through non-metals. It doesn’t behave quite like anything else.

But this is not quite true: fluid flowing through a system of pipes can behave in many respects like electricity flowing in a circuit. The ‘obvious’ exception to this is that if you pierce a pipe full of water, the water comes out.

Try piercing the insulation and touching the conductor: you will soon find the electricity coming out! The main difference is that water will fill any space whereas electricity will ‘fill’ only a conductor. Yes – the analogy is not perfect, but it is helpful and understanding will come not only from the similarities but also from the differences.

4QD-TEC: Understanding Electricity – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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