Today, of course, it is almost impossible for us to imagine living without electricity. But man has been able to use electricity only since 1800. In 1800, Alessandro Volta invented the first battery, and so gave the world its first continuous, reliable source of electric current. Soon it was discovered that an electric current can be used to produce heat, light, chemical action, and magnetic effects.
Volta’s discovery that there is a continuous “flow” of electricity was a great step forward. Various types of machines had been developed, but they would only provide a surge of electricity. Volta’s discovery led to many developments in the use of electricity.
Sir Humphry Davy found that electric currents would decompose various substances in solution. From these experiments have come pro- cesses that led to the production of low-cost aluminium, pure copper, chlorine, various acids and fertilizers, and special steels.
Then it was discovered that magnetism could be produced by an electric current. A coil of wire through which an electric current is passing acts like a bar magnet. This discovery led to all kinds of electrical devices in which some kind of mechanical motion is produced.
Later on, Michael Faraday found a way to do the opposite—produce electric fields by magnets in motion. This eventually led to the development of electric dynamos and transformers. So you see that man began to use electricity for practical purposes only recently in his history—and new discoveries and developments are still taking place.
What Are The Two Main Types Of Electricity?
There are two kinds of current electricity: direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC).