At the most basic level, electricity is best to be regarded as a flow of electrons. The more pressing issue
would be to understand how this flow occurs and the causes that bring about the flow of charges or the
The basic structure of the elements
The atom of any element is the simplest and unbroken entity that can exist freely. In the atom, there are
two charged particles; the electrons and the protons. Under certain controlled situations, the electrons can
be made to get detached from the parent atom, and this free particle can move under certain conditions
too. It is this movement of the electrons which causes the flow of electricity.
Now, it is not possible to separate out the electrons from all elements with equal ease. Thus we have the
broad classification of elements into the conductors and non-conductors. The conductors allow electric
current to pass through while the non-conductors are impervious to the flow of electrical charges.
Understanding electrical potential
Put forth very simply, the electric potential is nothing but the electrical pressure that is build up across
two separate charged terminals. Thus the higher the pressure that is built up, the faster is the flow of
electrons or electricity between the two points. Conversely, there is more energy in the higher potential
than the lower potential, and it is this factor that comes into play when higher voltages are handled in
Volt is the unit of measure of electrical potential, and the standard household uses 220V or 100V,
depending on the system prevalent at the location.
Creating the needed electrical potential
It would be very evident from the above argument that flow of electricity can be brought about by simply
creating the needed potential. And this is the very basis of generation of the electricity. One of the most
common ways of creating potential is in the electrical generator which seeks to create motion of the
electrons by having a varying magnetic field act upon a set of conductors. This in effect brings on
development of potential and causes the flow of electricity between two terminals.
Who invented electricity?
Electricity as a phenomenon has been in existence on earth ever since its creation. The bursts of lightning between two cloud formations are nothing but a flow of electricity. But the credit to having established the existence of electrical charges and which in effect lead to the creation of the field of electrical power has been credited to Benjamin Franklin, who in the mid-1700 did some pioneering work towards the establishment of the area as such. Another equally important and something that went on to make the use of electricity more popular and widely accepted is the creation of the light bulb by Thomas Edison in the 1880s. This very act made the till then exotic field of electricity more people friendly and hence of use to the general population.
In fact, with the invention of the electric bulb, it became evident that the flow of electrical charges can be put to good use. This feature could for all practical purposes signal the birth of the electrical industry. There were a lot more individuals that made their contributions felt in the further progress of the field. Notable were Michale Faraday; the originator of the inductions coil, Nicola Tesla; who developed further on the basic structure of the present day electrical generation, transmission and distribution and soon. It would be best to consider the development of electricity as a collaborative effort than attribute it to a single individual alone.