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What is electricity?

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In your home, electricity runs the lights, television, toaster and more. It's hard to even imagine what your life would be like without it.

AtomIt's easy to see what electricity does for us, but what IS electricity? Electricity is a form of energy. Energy is power...the power to do and move things, and to make things work.

Electricity begins with atoms. Atoms are tiny particles that are too small to see. Atoms make up everything around us.

The center of the atom has at least one proton and one neutron. At least one electron travels around the center of the atom at a very great speed. An outside force, called voltage, can push electrons from atom to atom. This movement of electrons produces electricity. We have found many ways to harness electricity's power and use it

Atom. The smallest unit of matter. Scientists so far have found 112 different kinds of atoms. Everything in the world is made of different combinations of these atoms.
Electron. A basic particle that orbits the nucleus of an atom. Electrons have a negative electrical charge. The flow of electrons produces electricity.
Neutron. A basic particle in an atom's nucleus that has a neutral electrical charge.
Proton. A basic particle in an atom's nucleus that has a positive electrical charge.
Voltage, volts. A measure of the pressure under which electricity flows.