It is known that electricity is simply the movement of electrons through or around a conductive material. The protons and neutrons that make up the nucleus of the conductor do not move, only the electron moves.
The current scientific consensus is: The most conductive materials (copper, silver and gold) have only one electron in their outer orbit. It is assumed, in a conductor, that the bond from the proton to the electron in the outer orbit is weak so it is easy to bump the electron from the nucleus of one atom to the nucleus of the next atom.
The electrons that are traveling on a conductor are bound electrons.
Even though we most commonly see electricity travel over wires, electricity can travel through the air and through radio waves.
By using electrical power, we don’t burn out electrons. Except for resistance, we don’t lose electrons. We just borrow them for an instant. Resistance causes electrons to move from a bound state to a free electron state (normally heat). Temperature affects resistance. The lower the temperature of the conductor – the less resistance. The higher the temperature – the higher the resistance.
By arranging the path of the electrons, through resistive elements like tungsten, we can produce light. If we cause the electrons to pass through a resistive structure, the electrons are forced from the material and we have heat.
Since the time that Michael Faraday discovered a method of capturing electrons from a magnet on a copper plate in 1821, the basic principles of electrical power generation have not changed. The process of capturing electrons on a copper wire is still mechanical for much of our electrical use. In almost 200 years we have not come up with a way to improve the methods by which we generate electricity. That is unbelievable! Why haven’t we come up with a better way?
Our electrical generating system is fragile. The second that the turbines stop turning at the local power plant is the same second that electricity in your house or business will stop. There is no backup. There is no reserve power. We are so dependent on this fragile system. But, if it breaks, you are on your own!
When Nikolai Tesla discovered a method of producing AC current, the power companies began transmitting a radio wave over the electric lines. We do not receive electrons from the power company. We receive a signal from the power company that simply causes electrons to move back and forth on a conductor.
The methods we use to produce electricity are primitive. A magnet (permanent or electromagnet) pass by copper wires flooding the copper wires with electrons. Because electrons move from a greater concentration to a lesser concentration, the electrons disperse evenly along the length of the wire. The copper wire is like a sponge.
Picture for a moment how efficient your water company would be if they simply took a fire hose and sprayed water into a quarter-inch pipe leading to your home. Do you think some of the water would be wasted? That is the same method we use to generate electricity. Terribly inefficient!
There are other ways to capture electrons on a conductor.
Picture two buildings connected to each other with a copper rod. The copper rod extends through the walls of the buildings and extends into each building. The temperature in one of the buildings is extremely hot. The temperature in the other building is extremely cold. Electrical current will flow from the hot building to the cold building. While this would not necessarily be an efficient way of producing electrical power, it will produce power.
Nikolai Tesla predicted that, if you had a metal rod extending from the earth into the outer reaches of the atmosphere, you would have continuous electricity.
Several years ago, I reproduced an experiment that Tesla had done. While Tesla used capacitors, I used a meter. I mounted a copper plate on a rail about 20 feet above the ground. I placed a grounding rod in the ground and ran a wire to a terminal block that was also connected to the copper plate. I then began to measure the current flow from the plate to the ground. I fully expected that I would measure more current across the terminals on hot days. Surprisingly, I found in excess of 2 volts across the terminals on the coldest days and very little current on the hot days. The temperature differential between the grounding rod and the plate is what caused the increased electron flow – thus the increased voltage.
Conceptually, it is also not impossible to pull current directly from a magnet. Since a magnet is a perpetual motion object, perpetual power would be produced if this method could be perfected. In addition, refrigeration and heat can also be accomplished directly from a magnet. The challenge is to stop the flow of electrons exiting one pole of the magnet from being sucked in at the other pole of the magnet. The flux lines must be broken!
Breaking the flux lines of a magnet would cause electrons to flow continuously in one direction and electricity would be produced with no moving parts. Current would be produced at the sub-atomic level.
Other interesting observations about electricity
One hot summer day, a friend of mine called and was complaining about his computer overheating all of the time. He claimed his disk drives were running at 130 degrees F and alarms were going off from the processor and the motherboard. I knew that he always ran a software program called BOINC for SETI. BOINC uses available processor cycles to run programs for different research groups.
I told him to turn off BOINC since he did not have enough cooling inside the computer case. He didn’t believe me, but he turned it off anyway. Within 30 minutes the temperature of his hard drives dropped 30 degrees. Besides using more electricity, BOINC produced more heat as the electrons were released from the processor.
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