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Electrical energy = electricity?

  1. Mar 16, 2010 #1
    Many texts i've come across use "electrical energy" and "electricity" interchangeably. Some online dictionaries also state "electricity" and "electrical energy" as synonyms. Are they really the same?

    In the topic called energy, my friend wrote "Electrical energy is the energy possessed by electricity". I pointed out that this definition is not accurate, that it should be "Electrical energy is the energy due to the flow of charged particles". Which is correct (if any)?

    A check with an oxford dictionary that i have:
    Electrical energy: a form of energy related to the position of an electric charge in an electric field
    Electricity: any effect resulting from the existence of stationary or moving electric charges.

    Now i'm even more confused! Pls help!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 16, 2010 #2

    Pythagorean

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    Most lamen equate electicity to energy or power (energy per time) because that's how we use it in our every day lives.

    From a scientific view, wegenerally mean the whole phenomon of electricity, of which energy is just one aspect.
     
  4. Mar 16, 2010 #3

    sophiecentaur

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    Wisely, I think, 'they' don't really define Electricity, except as a word to describe the general topic.

    You often hear expressions like "electricity going through wires" so it is sometimes taken to mean Current.
    Steer clear!
     
  5. Mar 17, 2010 #4
    i know in everyday use or stating the topic, "electricity" is used.
    but in science & studies, don't we need to differentiate them? are they the same?
     
  6. Mar 18, 2010 #5

    Pythagorean

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    Yes, we need to differentiate them.
    No, they are not the same.

    As I said, "electricity" is the general phenomenon, though it's official name is "electrodynamics" or "electromagnetics" ever since it was united with magnetism. A measurement of energy from an electrical event is not called electricity.
     
  7. Mar 19, 2010 #6

    sophiecentaur

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    Avoid the use of the word 'electricity' - except in the title of a section of a Science Syllabus or to describe some stuff you may buy to run your domestic appliances.
    The word has no precise meaning (afaik) in Science so you can't be surprised when it seems to be used loosely.
     
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