# COMMUNITY : FORUMS : SCIENCE

## where does electricity go?

I got a question. If we ground everything to the Earth for shorts and things like that, Where does that electricity go to? Does it just disappear deep down inside the earth? Does GE have an electrical well and is sucking all this electricity that people pour onto the ground? Please dont use big words like anode and cathode and coulombs (simple is better) :)

nutsandbolts_6411 months ago
Where does electricity go?

In circles.
Electricity is like a Newton’s cradle.

http://depositphotos.com/2308385/stock-photo-Newtons-cradle.html

The electrons don’t go anywhere like the balls it is the effect that travels to ground.

Joe
blkhawk1 year ago
In order to understand how electricity works visit the HowStuffWorks site and search for the word there.
DualPhase1 year ago
What in the World is Electricity and Where Does it Go After it Leaves the Toaster?

Here is a simple experiment that will teach you an important electrical lesson: On a cool dry day, scuff your feet along a carpet, then reach your hand into a friend's mouth and touch one of his dental fillings. Did you notice how your friend twitched violently and cried out in pain? This teaches one that electricity can be a very powerful force, but we must never use it to hurt others unless we need to learn an important lesson about electricity.

It also illustrates how an electrical circuit works. When you scuffed your feet, you picked up batches of "electrons", which are very small objects that carpet manufacturers weave into carpet so that they will attract dirt. The electrons travel through your bloodstream and collect in your finger, where they form a spark that leaps to your friend's filling, then travel down to his feet and back into the carpet, thus completing the circuit.

AMAZING ELECTRONIC FACT: If you scuffed your feet long enough without touching anything, you would build up so many electrons that your finger would explode! But this is nothing to worry about unless you have carpeting.

Although we modern persons tend to take our electric lights, radios, mixers, etc. for granted, hundreds of years ago people did not have any of these things, which is just as well because there was no place to plug them in. Then along came the first Electrical Pioneer, Benjamin Franklin, who flew a kite in a lightning storm and received a serious electrical shock. This proved that lightning was powered by the same force as carpets, but it also damaged Franklin's brain so severely that he started speaking only in incomprehensible maxims, such as, "A penny saved is a penny earned." Eventually he had to be given a job running the post office.

After Franklin came a herd of Electrical Pioneers whose names have
become part of our electrical terminology: Myron Volt, Mary Louise Amp, James Watt, Bob Transformer, etc. These pioneers conducted many important electrical experiments. Among them, Galvani discovered (this is the truth) that when he attached two different kinds of metal to the leg of a frog, an electrical current developed and the frog's leg kicked, even though it was no longer attached to the frog, which was dead anyway. Galvani's discovery led to enormous advances in the field of amphibian medicine. Today, skilled veterinary surgeons can take a frog that has been seriously injured or killed, implant pieces of metal in its muscles, and watch it hop back into the pond -- almost.

But the greatest Electrical Pioneer of them all was Thomas Edison, who was a brilliant inventor despite the fact that he had little formal education and lived in New Jersey. Edison's first major invention in 1877 was the phonograph, which could soon be found in thousands of American homes, where it basically sat until 1923, when the record was invented. But Edison's greatest achievement came in 1879 when he invented the electric company. Edison's design was a brilliant adaptation of the simple electrical circuit: the electric company sends electricity through a wire to a customer, then immediately gets the electricity back through another wire, then (this is the brilliant part) sends it right back to the customer again.

This means that an electric company can sell a customer the same batch of electricity thousands of times a day and never get caught, since very few customers take the time to examine their electricity closely. In fact, the last year any new electricity was generated was 1937.

Today, thanks to men like Edison and Franklin, and frogs like Galvani's, we receive almost unlimited benefits from electricity. For example, in the past decade scientists have developed the laser, an electronic appliance so powerful that it can vaporize a bulldozer 2000 yards away, yet so precise that doctors can use it to perform delicate operations to the human eyeball, provided they remember to change the power setting from "Bulldozer" to "Eyeball."
1 year ago
Flagged as Inappropriate due to plagiarism. This was copied whole-cloth without attribution from Indian River State College.
1 year ago
Nope, sorry Indian River State College copied it 'whole-cloth without attribution' also, lol. The original author is believed to be Dave Barry but who knows because it is all over the internet.  Enjoy the youtube one, its hilarious!! :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XUQnrNd8Y8

http://www.sweenytod.com/funny/joke4.html http://ebookbrowse.com/what-in-the-world-is-electricity-and-where-does-it-go-after-it-leaves-the-toaster-doc-d241569039

http://www.workinghumor.com/quotes/dave_barry_habits.shtml

http://www.comp.leeds.ac.uk/Perl/Misc/electricity.txt
NachoMahma5 years ago
. Electricity doesn't "go" anywhere. The ol' energy cannot be created nor destroyed thing.
. There are (at least) two types of "ground" - Earth ground and circuit ground. Earth ground is at the same potential as, well, the Earth. Circuit ground is just a common connection to the power source and not necessarily at earth ground potential.
. As others have pointed out, ground is often just another wire (or capacitor). A lot of circuit grounds are not actually grounds at all. Eg, on most cars negative is commonly called ground, but, because of the non-conductive tires (tyres for you Brits), it is not necessarily at earth ground potential.
. More than anything else, ground is just a convenient place to call zero volts - a reference point. Somewhat similar to 0o F or C. Electricity works on difference of potential, so if one side of your power source is at +50V (relative to Earth) and the other is at +150V (relative to Earth), then you have 100V differential. You can call either side ground and say you have plus or minus 100V.
E-R-IC5 years ago
in to the ground
Kiteman6 years ago
Try thinking of ground as just another wire in the circuit - the rest of the circuit is just elsewhere, flowing at unpredictable times (lightning etc).
5 years ago
like a spark gap
Goodhart6 years ago
It will be hard to explain in overly simple terms but lets make a go of it: If all the rain water soaks into the earth, and for some reason evaporation stops taking place, the water of the world has been essentially "removed" from above ground. Still, as long as there is evaporation (as long as the laws of physics do not change) there will always be the "potential" for rain. This is kind of the idea behind electricity. For instance, technically, there is no such thing as "static" (non-moving) electricity, there is "potential" (like in a capacitor, a cat petted in the dry air, clouds moving over the earth, an electrical socket hitched to the mains, etc. If you do a search on "electrical potential" you will find enough reading to bring you up to date, and keep you busy for awhile :-) I hope this helped, if only a little.
5 years ago
Right! The electromotive force or electric potential exists everywhere. It is only when it is tapped and forced to do work that there is any benefit. You are only billed for the electricity you use from the mains* and not for the potential that exists.

• Of course certain taxes, fees and levies apply along with the cost of fuel to create the power and Blah Blah Blah yada yada yada fine print.
guyfrom7up6 years ago
ohhohh I think I got it this time The ground is part of a giant capacitor, between the earth and the ionosphere so when you apply a voltage to ground you are really somewhat discharging that capacitor, but it's a negligable amount because the capacitor is of high voltage, so what is 120 volts from 20 million? Whenever lightning strikes it's the capacitor's dielectric breaking down, and other things can simulate that lightning
6 years ago
have I been reading too much tesla?
guyfrom7up6 years ago
I'm not sure if this is 100% true, but here I go The power plants determine that the ground is a ground relative to the neutral (as opposed to the HOT) wire in you AC sockets. Ground and neutral have the same voltage of zero.