Current Electricity

Many inventions and discoveries have been made in order to facilitate human life smoothly. The discovery of current electricity is one such discovery that we are highly dependent on to make our life easier. Benjamin Franklin is credited with the discovery of electricity.

What is Current Electricity?

Current electricity is defined as the flow of electrons from one section of the circuit to another.

Electromotive Force (EMF) and Voltage:

Electromotive Force

When two bodies at different potentials are linked with a wire, free electrons stream from Point 1 to Point 2, until both the objects reach the same potential, after which the current stops flowing. Until a potential difference is present throughout a conductor, current runs.

From the above analogy, we can define electromotive force and voltage as follows:

Electromotive Force Definition: Electromotive force is defined as the electric potential produced by either an electrochemical cell or by changing the magnetic field.

Voltage Definition: Voltage is defined as the electric potential difference between two points.

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Types of Current Electricity

There are two types of current electricity as follows:

  • Direct Current (DC)
  • Alternating Current (AC)

Direct Current

The current electricity whose direction remains the same is known as direct current. Direct current is defined by the constant flow of electrons from a region of high electron density to a region of low electron density. DC is used in many household appliances and applications that involve a battery.

Alternating Current

The current electricity that is bidirectional and keeps changing the direction of the charge flow is known as alternating current. The bidirectionality is caused by a sinusoidally varying current and voltage that reverses directions, creating a periodic back and forth motion for the current. The electrical outlets at our home and industries are supplied with alternating current.

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Generation of Current Electricity

Current electricity can be generated by the following methods:

  • By moving a metal wire through a magnetic field (Both alternating current and direct current can be generated by the following method)
  • By a battery through chemical reactions (Direct current can be generated through this method)

Suggested Video

Relative Motion Bteween Magnetic Field and Coil

Note that this setup must be a part of an electric circuit, otherwise the electrons have nowhere to go and current electricity won’t be generated.
Current Electricity
The direction of the magnetic field and the direction of the wire will determine the direction of the current through the wire.

Current Electricity vs Static Electricity

In this section, we will look into the difference between current electricity and static electricity:

What Is Static Electricity?

Static electricity refers to the electric charges that build up on the surface of materials or substances. These charges remain static until they are grounded, or discharged. This type of electricity is formed due to fiction. Basically, the phenomenon of static electricity arises when the positive and negative charges are separated.

Now let us look at the various differences between static electricity and current electricity.

Current Electricity Static Electricity
The electricity due to the flow of electrons is known as current electricity The electricity built on the surface of a substance is known as static electricity
Current electricity is generated by powerplants and batteries Static electricity is generated when objects are rubbed against each other resulting in charge transfer
Current Electricity is controlled Static Electricity is uncontrolled
The electricity that is used to power up electronic devices is an example of current electricity The shock experienced while touching a doorknob is an example of static electricity.

Stay tuned to BYJU’S to learn more about electric current, ohm’s law, and much more.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What is current electricity in Physics?

The movement of electrons from one point to another in an electric circuit is called current electricity.

How is current electricity different from static electricity?

Current electricity is a form of electricity in which charges constantly flow. Current electricity is dynamic while static electricity, as the name suggests, is static.

How does current electricity work?

The steady flow of electrons is termed as current electricity. When electrons move from one point to another in a circuit, they carry electrical energy from place to place.

Do circuits use static or current electricity?

Circuits use current electricity.

Who discovered the current electricity?

Benjamin Franklin discovered the current electricity.

Test your knowledge on Current electricity


  1. Very helpful

  2. It is wonderful and helps a lot.
    Students benefit from this.
    Thanks !!

  3. Princy Khemraj Shende

    Very nice

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