Throughout history, human civilization has witnessed many inventions and discoveries of principles and laws of nature. However, the most impacting and greatest invention/discovery for humanity would be, without a doubt, electricity.
Electricity is the backbone of all the progress we are making today. Whether it’s winter or summer, we are comfortable in both. Why? Because in winter we can turn on the heater and in summer we can turn on the air conditions both are powered by it.
It is now becoming a fundamental requirement to the entire civilization, whether it’s a developed nation, developing nation, or underdeveloped nation. The extent to which electricity is available to the citizen’s measures how well the country is performing.
But how does this happen? Technology, which people were unaware of literally five centuries ago, has become crucial for us. Scientifically, it is nothing but the flow of electrons, and the energy required to make the electrons flow in a specific direction is the reason for electric energy. However, this little information consists of centuries of hard work.
History of Electricity
From the beginning of human months civilization, humans have witnessed electricity and come across it quite often. A prime example would be thundering; ancient civilizations considered thundering a supernatural phenomenon. Perhaps this was why we have one deity or God with a Thunder weapon in every ancient civilization.
The reason for considering Thunder as a supernatural phenomenon or weapon of God was the adequacy of the thundering because of lack of knowledge behind it and lack of control; the cause of it was also ambiguous. However, ancient civilizations weren’t completely unaware of electricity (though it wasn’t completely right).
In 600 BC, Thales discovered that by rubbing the amber on cat fur, the amber acquires a unique attraction to the paper pieces and the eccentric property (it was a static current that we know now). However, even the most knowledgeable philosopher in ancient times labeled the phenomena due to black magic.
Since then, there has been no significant progress in electricity until the 16th century. In the 16th century, William Gilbert started researching the phenomena and found that not only amber but other things, such as glass and silk, can also attract when rubbed enough.
The force attracting and pulling the paper pieces was known as the electric force because the force was the first observed in the amber, and amber is called Elektron in greek. Thus, Gilbert called the entire force, in effect, an electric force. Gilbert also invented an electroscope to measure the electric force.
Then the next progress occurred in June 1752, 18th century, when Benjamin Franklin flew a kite while thundering and tied an iron spike on the kite, the string was drenched, and a key was attached to the string. He observed that Thunder was striking the kite, reaching the key, string, and Franklin. Because of this experiment, Franklin was known as the “father of electricity.”
In 1791, when Luigi Galvani gave his theory. He experimented on a frog and found that electricity would be developed if two different metals with frog muscles came in contact. However, his friend and renowned scientist Alexander Volta didn’t agree with the claim and proposed the reason for the phenomenon is the use of different metals.
He started to research in 1792 on his own, and eight years later, he proved his claim and invented the cell/battery. The cell was made up of alternating layers of copper and zinc, and the cell was dipped in the brine.
In 1820, Hans Christian Orsted discovered the magnetic property of electricity through his well-known experiment Ostered Experiment. In 1821, Micheal Faraday began researching magnetic property and electricity interrelation. He discovered the interrelation of electricity and magnetic fields. However, the most revolutionary application of electricity was yet to come.
In 1879, Edison invented the pro-longing electric bulb through DC. Because of this revolutionary invention, the electricity demand skyrocketed. However, there was a problem in the game: the transmission of DC. The DC can be transmitted to only two or three kilometers transmitted. Therefore it is required to set up a power production house every two to three kilometers. This alone made the entire electricity too costly and only for the rich.
In 1887, the solution to the problem began to arise when Nikola Tesla invented the AC generator. Unlike DC, AC can be transmitted to a long distance without much loss of the electrical energy itself. Moreover, this was how electricity evolved from a mysterious weapon of God to a daily necessity.
Electricity and Recent Years
The electricity demand has been never-ending since the industrial revolution. Historically, to meet the demand, we produce electricity with fossil fuels. The times have changed, and the problems have also changed.
In recent years, climate change has become a serious global problem. If you are living under a rock and not aware of climate change, it refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. Theoretically, the shifts may be neutral or positive, but sadly it is neither. We are talking about it because it is negative at an alarming rate.
The effects of climate change include the meltdown of glaciers, an increase in sea level, global warming, and many more. The change in climate patterns at an unprecedented rate is making it difficult for agriculture. The given video will explain climate change in detail.
The majority of the major reason for climate change is greenhouse gases and its effect. But how climate change and electricity are related? The answer lies in the production of electricity. Nearly all the production processes of electricity with fossil fuels emit carbon, a greenhouse gas, and thus cause climate change. And historically, relying on fossil fuels only for the production of electricity.
The greenhouse effect occurs when heat from a planet’s host star passes through its atmosphere and warms its surface. However, greenhouse gases in the atmosphere prevent some heat from returning directly to space, making the planet warmer.
The video below will explain the greenhouse effect in scientific terms in detail.
It is quite clear that we need to change our production process. We can not rely on the same carbon emission production of electricity.
Change and the Electricity
The world is changing, and the force that drives the change is climate change. In recent years, every change in the world has been occurring, keeping climate change in mind, and the electricity production process is no exception.
Production and Change
Historically, fossil fuels were the main source of electricity production, but they were heavy carbon emitters. Therefore, we need green fuel today, and that’s where the problem begins. The majority of green fuels are either untapped or underdeveloped. Nevertheless, there is a well-established green fuel; nuclear energy.
The electricity generated by nuclear power plants is considered green electricity or clean electricity. Because the production of electricity from nuclear power plants doesn’t emit carbon emission carbon dioxide. However, because of the limited use of Atomic Energy, nuclear energy isn’t able to fill that electricity demand.
Scientists have searched for various methods to produce clean energy in recent years. They have researched proficiently on green fuels in the past two decades. It is the result of research only that in the past few years, we have had a tremendous increase in electricity production from renewable energy sources (solar & wind energy). The innovation isn’t limited to solar wind power but is more than that nowadays on the remote level; we are producing electricity from everywhere possible.
The video below explains it from Indian POV.
A prime example would be the electricity production from the garbage east of the city. This happens in Istanbul.
With each coming day, we are transitioning from traditional fossil fuel electricity production to electricity production from green energy. This will only increase in the future; therefore, we can predict how electricity will be produced.
Change in Uses of Electricity
Now, the utility of electricity isn’t limited to producing a product in industry or daily utility consumption. Rather, it is more than that. The change isn’t limited to the production of electricity. It’s more than that. The utility of electricity is itself changing with every day passing.;
In recent years, electricity is playing a crucial role in transportation. This is interesting because electricity is not only eliminating the risk of climate change through its alternate production, but it is also an alternative to fossil fuels.
Past Changes to Happen
In any technology, new ideas are innovative compared to the old ones. However, the counter is true for electricity because, in the case of electricity, the current ideas that are carried out are much more outdated compared to the old ones.
If you are not aware of the idea behind it, it is related to electricity distribution. Currently, electricity distribution is all about the wires and reach; to us, it is not a very alien idea. However, in the future, it will because in a world where even internet connection is shifting from optic fiber cable to wireless satellites (e.g., Starlink), how can not the electricity distribution through wires wouldn’t be strange.
In the early 20th century, Nikola Tesla was working on transmitting electricity wirelessly. The idea is still a headache for most scientists despite the presence of advanced computers. Tesla worked on that idea and achieved partial success; he was able to develop a Tesla tower that was capable of transmission of electricity to an extent. However, in the middle of the research, he died, then the government discontinued the research, stating it was dangerous. The conspiracy theory now blames the politics and business mafia of the electricity companies for it.
Nevertheless, every incomplete becomes complete over time, and the same will go for electricity also. In the future, many things will have to happen.
Future & Electricity
The world is changing faster than ever. Every new second, a new technology, discovery invention is going on throughout the world. It might appear like nothing right now. However, each of them is changing the trajectory of the world. They are the base of the future; every necessity of the future is currently sprouting.
Under these circumstances, only time will answer how electricity will do in the future. However, we can predict the future based on current inventions and scenarios.
In the future, the world will rely on renewable sources of energy. The thermal power plants will be there, but only for emergency purposes; the economy around coal petroleum will be shrunk the solar panels and windmills will be new common in the future household.
Most people in the future will produce electricity for their daily needs (in small proportions). They will also rely on electricity companies for business purposes like agriculture and maybe a lavish party, either way; the electricity companies will sustain and play a major role in the future.
The distribution of electricity will be carried out through the Tesla towers. Based on current knowledge, the distribution system will be such that there will be a Tesla tower with higher potential and surrounding with lower potential Tesla towers around in a specific range.
The transmission of electricity wirelessly and the innovation around it will result from the advancement of the utility of electricity itself.
In the future, electricity will not be restricted to operating industrial motors or domestic consumption. Rather, the utility of the electricity will be broader. The utility of electricity will increase as our understanding of it increases. With our understanding, the extent to which we will control electricity will also increase.
Moreover, it wouldn’t be out of the blue when countries would go to war with electricity-controlling weapons. Such a scenario would be ironic. We, humans, have completed a circle by starting with electricity as the weapon of God in the future; we may use that weapon and control that weapon on ourselves. How have we humans come?