Static vs Current Electricity
Static electricity and current electricity are the two main types of electricity in study. These concepts are very important and play vital roles in fields such as electromagnetic theory, electricity, electrostatics, electronics and electrical engineering and physics. Static electricity is a form of electricity that does not flow whereas current electricity is a current of charged particles. In this article, we are going to discuss what static electricity and current electricity are, their definitions, the similarities between static electricity and current electricity, the applications of static electricity and current electricity, how static electricity and current electricity are created, and finally the difference between static electricity and current electricity.
What is Static Electricity?
There are charges in everything we encounter in a daily basis. These charges are balanced almost all of the time. When some charges are taken out from a neutral object, the object becomes a charged object. If there is no way to balance these charges by taking charges from outside, the object remains a charged object. These charges are stationary and known as static charges. The electrical field created by these charges is known as the static electricity.
The most common static electricity generating object is the Van de Graaf generator. Static electricity is a very useful method to obtain very high voltages. While it is almost impossible to obtain millions of volts using a current flowing circuit, it is relatively easy to create it with static electricity.
The gold leaf electroscope is one of the most common and easiest methods to identify and measure static electricity. Static electricity is not capable of creating a magnetic field. Static electricity usually builds up on a surface of an object. If the object is a conductor, the charges are always on the outer surface of the conductor.
What is Current Electricity?
Current electricity is the most common type of electricity used in daily lives. Current electricity consists of two points that have a voltage difference, and a current carrying connection between them. The voltage difference at two points creates a current in the current carrying wire. The magnitude of the current depends on the voltage difference between the two points and the resistance of the connecting wire.
An electrical current always creates a magnetic field which is normal to the electric current. Electric currents can be alternating currents, direct currents, ripple currents, or a variable current. It is hard to obtain very high voltages using current electricity since there is power dissipation due to the flowing current.
What is the difference between Current Electricity and Static Electricity?
- Current electricity consists of flowing charges whereas static electricity consists of stationary charges.
- There is always a magnetic field associated with current electricity, but there cannot be a magnetic field in static electricity.
- Static electricity can occur in both conductors and insulators, but current electricity cannot occur in conductors.