There’s no doubt that electricity is a crucial part of everyone’s day to day life. The reliance on this technology is so ingrained in today’s world that most people don’t give it a second thought. They flip a switch or turn a button and just expect lights to come on, appliances to work, and electronics to power up.
However, due to the prevalence of electricity, a few myths have emerged, as well. Getting to know the truth about electricity can help you better understand it, and the power it has.
Myth: Wood and Rubber Offer Superior Insulating Power
Any material that allows electricity to flow through is called a conductor. Material that doesn’t let this happen is an insulator. An insulating material is a crucial element in electrical safety. After all, being able to block electricity from flowing into the body is the best way to avoid a harmful and painful shock. Two of the most common materials that are considered insulators are wood and rubber. However, it’s important to take a closer look.
While pure rubber is considered a great insulator, some items such as shoes and gloves usually have synthetic additives mixed in. This can diminish the insulating power that rubber usually has. Wood is actually a conductor; however, it’s not a very effective one. If the wood gets wet, thought, the conductive power it has increases quite a bit.
Myth: Electricity is Completely Weightless
While this may be hard to believe, the fact is, electricity does have a small amount of mass. Electrical currents are actually flowing electrons and electrons have a mass, just like any other form of matter. The fact is, though, the amount of mass isn’t easy to discern, as an electron only has a mass of 0.054 percent of the mass of a neutron.
Myth: All Power Lines Have to be Insulated
Just because you see birds that are safely perched on a power line, it doesn’t mean they are insulated. Unlike a power cord used for regular appliances and devices, approximated 90 percent of all overhead power lines don’t have any insulation present. The fact is, insulating a power line can be extremely costly, and the only protection most of these lines have is a weather coating.
Myth: How Fast Electricity Moves
There’s a common myth “out there” about how quickly energy travels. There are many who have assumed it moves at the same rate that light does. However, when electricity runs through the wiring in your house, the electric current is actually moving at approximately one percent of what the speed of light is. While this is still more than 1,000 miles per hour, it’s still not quite as fast as many people think it is.
As you can see, electricity is a complex entity. As such, if you need any type of electric repair or work done, it’s a good idea to hire the professionals. They can ensure everything is done properly and safely.