What Is A Electricity Example?

Electricity is a form of energy resulting from the motion of charged particles like electrons and protons. It is a ubiquitous part of our daily lives and plays a fundamental role in powering modern society. While invisible to the naked eye, electricity powers everything from simple appliances like lights and toasters, to complex devices like computers and smartphones.

Electricity can take many different forms and arises from a variety of sources. Some key concepts related to electricity include:

  • Static Electricity – The buildup of electric charge on an object, often created by friction.
  • Electric Current – The flow of electric charges, such as through a wire or circuit.
  • Circuits – Closed loops through which electric current can flow.
  • Batteries – Devices that convert chemical energy into electric current.
  • Generators – Devices that convert mechanical energy into electric current.

In this article, we will explore some common examples of electricity in action, ranging from the small-scale static shocks we experience everyday, to massive lightning storms and power plants that illuminate entire cities.


Batteries are a common example of electricity that many people encounter in their everyday lives. They provide portable electrical energy through electrochemical reactions.

Inside a battery, there are two different metals or compounds, known as electrodes, that react with each other. One electrode gives up electrons while the other electrode accepts electrons. The flow of electrons between the electrodes generates electricity.

For example, in a standard AA battery the positive electrode is made of manganese dioxide and the negative electrode is made of zinc. When the battery is connected to an electrical circuit, the zinc electrode undergoes an oxidation reaction in which zinc atoms lose electrons. These electrons flow through the electrical circuit to the manganese dioxide electrode, where manganese ions accept the electrons in a reduction reaction.

The chemical reactions inside the battery provide energy to move electrons through the external circuit, powering electrical devices. When the battery runs out, the chemical reactions stop producing enough energy to move electrons. Batteries offer a convenient and portable way to deliver electricity.

Static Electricity

Static electricity is one of the most common examples of electricity in our everyday lives. It occurs when there is an imbalance of electric charges in objects, leading to a build up of static electrical charges.

This build up happens when two surfaces come in contact and rub against each other, causing electrons (negatively charged subatomic particles) to be pulled from one surface and deposited on the other. One object ends up with an excess of electrons, giving it a negative charge, while the other ends up with a shortage, giving it a positive charge.

The most familiar example is when we walk across a carpet. The constant contact between our shoes and the carpet causes electrons to transfer from the carpet fibers onto our body. As we build up more and more excess electrons, we become negatively charged. But we don’t notice anything until we touch a conductive metal object like a door handle or computer case. The extra electrons discharge immediately to the object, resulting in a visible spark and that characteristic “zap” feeling.

Static build up and discharge occurs for all types of materials, not just carpets and people. It explains phenomena like clothes clinging together in the dryer due to static cling, or receiving a shock when petting a cat. Controlling static electricity buildup is an important engineering consideration for industries like electronics and chemical manufacturing to avoid damage to components or accidental fires.

Electric Eels

Electric eels are fascinating creatures that produce their own electricity to stun prey and defend themselves. These eels have specialized organs that can generate powerful electrical discharges of up to 600 volts – five times more than the power outlet in your home! Electricity is key to their survival in two important ways:

Electric eels use their shocking abilities to hunt for food. They generate electricity to stun their prey, including fish, amphibians, and small mammals. This makes catching a meal much easier. When an unlucky animal swims nearby, the eel will deliver a high-voltage shock, instantly immobilizing its target. This allows the eel to easily swallow its stunned prey head first.

Electricity also plays a vital role in self-defense for these eels. If threatened, they can emit bursts of electricity to deter predators. Most animals know to steer clear of the eel after receiving a painful shock. Some eels even leap out of the water to directly zap a threat on land. Their ability to wield electricity helps protect electric eels from harm.

So in both hunting and defense, electric eels rely on their unique biological batteries to survive. Their mastery over electricity gives them an advantage that poisons, muscles, or claws couldn’t provide.


One of the most visible examples of electricity in nature is lightning. Lightning is an electrical discharge that occurs between clouds or between clouds and the ground. The sparks of lightning are massive electrostatic discharges that occur when positive and negative charges within clouds or between clouds and the ground temporarily equalize.

Inside a thundercloud, the atmosphere is turbulent, causing positive and negative charges, normally spread apart, to intermingle. When the differences in charges become too great, a massive discharge occurs within the cloud or between the cloud and ground. The rapid expansion of heated air causes the bright flash and thunderous boom we associate with lightning.

The separation of electrical charges and lightning formation occurs along a branched chain of plasma channels. The core temperature of lightning can reach 30,000°C-60,000°C, which causes the air to rapidly expand and create shock waves that result in thunder. A bolt of lightning can carry billions of watts of electricity and contains billions of electrons. This massive electrical current produces a huge electromagnetic pulse that can interfere with radio frequencies.

Lightning is one of the best examples of the powers of electricity exhibited in nature. The next time you witness the incredible brightness and loud sounds of a lightning storm, you’ll have a better understanding of the source – the separation of massive amounts of electrical charge between clouds and the ground.

Electric Motors

diagram showing the components of a simple electric motor with coils, magnets, and a rotating shaft.
Electric motors are a common example of electricity that many people encounter in everyday life. They work by converting electrical energy into mechanical energy through electromagnetic induction. Inside an electric motor, there are sets of coils called the stator (stationary coils) and rotor (rotating coils). The stator coils are wired to an electric current, which generates a magnetic field. This magnetic field induces a current in the rotor coils, creating another magnetic field. The interaction between the two magnetic fields causes the rotor to spin, providing the rotational mechanical force that powers devices like fans, power tools, washing machines, and more.

Electric motors exemplify how electricity can be harnessed to perform useful work. The process of electromagnetic induction converts the “fuel” of electric current into physical motion. Motors demonstrate electricity’s versatile applications through the many tools, appliances, vehicles, and industrial machinery that depend on them. Though often hidden from plain view, electric motors power many aspects of everyday life.

Power Plants

Power plants are facilities that generate electricity from mechanical power. There are several types of power plants that utilize different energy sources:

Fossil fuel power plants burn coal, oil, or natural gas to heat water into steam, which then spins a turbine to activate a generator that produces electricity. Coal and natural gas are the most common fuels used in these plants.

Nuclear power plants use the heat from nuclear fission in a contained environment to convert water into steam and spin a turbine. Nuclear power provides a major source of energy around the world.

Hydroelectric plants utilize the movement of water to spin turbines and generate power. Dams open up their gates to allow water flow to turn the turbines.

Solar power plants use large arrays of photovoltaic panels to convert sunlight into electricity. Concentrated solar power plants use mirrors to focus sunlight to heat fluid and produce steam.

Wind farms are clusters of large wind turbines that harness wind energy through their rotating blades to generate clean electricity. Wind power is one of the fastest growing renewable sources.

Power plants allow us to meet society’s electrical needs by tapping into different energy sources and converting them into usable electricity that powers our modern world.


One example of electricity in action is a circuit. A circuit is a closed loop that allows electricity to flow through. It starts with a power source, like a battery, that provides voltage (electrical pressure). The voltage pushes electrons through the wires and components that make up the circuit.

For the electrons to flow continuously around the circuit, it must be a complete, unbroken loop. If there is a break anywhere in the loop, the electrons won’t be able to complete the circuit, and the flow of electricity stops. This is why switches, fuses, and circuit breakers are used to intentionally open or close a circuit.

Components like light bulbs, motors, or resistors are added into the loop to make use of the electrical energy. As the electrons pass through these components, they either produce light, motion, or heat. But the components also add resistance to the circuit, making it harder for the electrons to flow.

So in summary, a circuit uses the voltage from a power source to push electrons through a closed loop. This loop allows components to make use of the electricity, while also limiting how much flows. Understanding circuits is a key example of electricity at work.


Magnets are materials that produce magnetic fields and attract certain metals like iron. Magnets create their own magnetic field that can magnetize objects made of certain materials. The most common magnet is the permanent magnet which keeps its magnetic properties after being magnetized. There are also electromagnets which use electric current to generate a magnetic field. The key property of magnets for electricity examples is their ability to create a magnetic field and induce an electric current in a nearby conductor. When a magnet moves near a conductive metal like copper, the changing magnetic field induces a flow of electrons or an electric current in the metal. Generators in power plants use rotating magnets and wire coils to produce electricity on a large scale. Smaller generators can also create electricity by rotating magnets past wire coils. The ability of magnets to induce current in conductors makes them an essential component of electric motors, generators, transformers and many other electrical devices.


In summary, we looked at several key examples that demonstrate the principles of electricity in action all around us. From simple batteries that store and release energy, to impressive natural phenomena like lightning and electric eels, to motors that convert electricity into motion, and power plants that generate enormous amounts of electricity for our cities and homes.

Studying electricity helps us harness this invisible yet powerful force to run all of the technological marvels of the modern world. We hope this overview provided some insight into what electricity is and how it functions in many aspects of our daily lives. Understanding the basics of electricity is crucial for powering innovation and building new technologies for the future.

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