What is electricity?

Electricity is a general term that encompasses a variety of phenomena resulting from the presence and flow of electric charge.

Lightning is a form of electricity. The small shock you get when you walk across carpet and touch a metal doorknob is another. Even your body depends on internal electricity to live. Nearly every second of your life a tiny electrical signal tells your heart to make a beat.

While you don't see electricity, you do see what it does all the time, every day. In fact, everything in the world is electrical because all matter in the world - including the human body - is made up of atoms, and every atom is made up of a number of neutrons, protons and electrons, which are 'particles' of electricity.

Protons have a positive charge. Electrons have a negative charge. Neutrons have no charge. When the number of electrons and protons in an object become unbalanced, a positive or negative charge occurs. This imbalance causes these particles to either attract or seek out their oppositely charged counterparts in another object.

When they do, they travel via conductors (such as electrical wires) to form an electric current and, ultimately, power everything from torches to trams.