Skip to main content
Without electricity, we would still be living - literally - in the dark ages. Few other discoveries can claim the same influence as electricity, and humans have learned to harness it in a number of different ways.
Electricity is the lifeblood of nearly everything we turn on, listen to, watch and play, providing the energy needed to keep gadgets of all shapes and sizes running. In fact, we rely on energy more today, than ever before.

Electrical appliances

While we're all used to it appearing at the flick of a switch, how many of us actually know what electricity is made of or how it works?

So what's electricity made of? 

Put simply, everything on earth is made up of atoms. Within these are minute particles:

What is electricity 
  1. Protons

  2. Electrons

  3. Neutrons

The centre of the atom (the nucleus) is comprised of neutrons and protons. Electrons travel around or “orbit” the outer edge of the atom.

For electricity to be created, an electron has to be transferred from one atom to another. It's the flow of these electrons from one atom to another that creates electricity.

How does electricity flow?

Over the years people have found ways to control this flow, making it stronger or weaker as needed. Certain materials like metal (think copper wiring or power lines) allow electrons to flow easily. On the other hand, rubber is a non-conductive material which can help to insulate this flow.