What is electricity? - Electricity Explained - (1)

Into The Ordinary
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Electricity playlist: www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

What is electricity? How does electricity work? What do electrons do? What is short circuiting? These are all questions answered in this video: A fundamental explainer on what electricity is and how it works.

In following videos we'll look at voltage, ampere, ohm (resistance) and many more electricity related topics. All of this is to build a foundation of knowledge to serve all the future (and past) videos here on Into The Ordinary.

A couple of choices were made during the production of this video, that can be helpful to know:
- I chose to mention the Bohr-model in relation to the orbital model to bring the point across that there is more to atoms than just this. The What Are Atoms? video better explains orbitals than this video does, though.
- I intentionally used the word "shells" instead of orbits because it better catches what electrons are in real life, although still a simplification. This video is about electricity, not particle physics.
- Power generation, how batteries work, amps, volts, ohms, are all topics I want to address in separate videos.
- There will probably be a few more questions about this video, which I will try to address in the comments or in the description, here.

Never directly connect a wire to both holes of a wall socket, and never directly connect a wire to both ends of a battery! This can be dangerous and potentially life threatening!

🌏🌍🌎 Care to add your own language in subtitles?

Major thanks to Launchable Socks for doing the audio on this video! Check out his channel:

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Published on


Nov 24, 2017




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Comments 1 144
Mauricio Farias Dziedzinski
I can't tell how brilliant this video was for me, extremely well made and explained. Thanks a lot!
Dj Tifa
Dj Tifa Day ago
Nature always seeks a neutral charge equilibrium, a net charge of zero 👌🏾👌🏾👌🏾👌🏾
Tanishk Kapoor
Tanishk Kapoor 6 days ago
علي الطائي
Realize Just
Realize Just 12 days ago
As for the electrical discharge, when the body rubs with the carpet, it loses electrons, and when the body touches any metal surface close to it, such as a door handle, for example (the bonding forces of electrons are weak) the electrons will move from the metal surface of the human body to compensate for the lack of electrons in it. The question is why does a positive charge not appear on the surface A metal that has lost its electrons
George 12 days ago
Why post music ? It’s difficult to hear what your saying ?. Nonetheless I’ll give u a like
mat hakim
mat hakim 13 days ago
What the skin of atom
mat hakim
mat hakim 13 days ago
And what a skin of electron
Dhruv DUST
Dhruv DUST 16 days ago
that accent sounds so dutch
Cassie Simons
Cassie Simons 18 days ago
I am a science teacher. I struggled teaching about electricity and magnetism because I couldn't find any material that truly explained how it works in simple terms. Everything I found seemed way too confusing and overcomplicated. This is brilliant! Thanks, I will be using these videos to educate my kids. Way to go
eily. .ph.
eily. .ph. 23 days ago
This is so helpful ! I really thank you for your efforts 💙
dinesh nagwekar
dinesh nagwekar 23 days ago
Thank you! Great basic information of electricity.
p dubey
p dubey 23 days ago
Thank you sir
Frezza 25 days ago
Been an electrician for a couple years now and even back in trade school I didn't quite grasp the whole picture. This video really filled in the gaps and questions I had, thank you!
RDLL 1226
RDLL 1226 29 days ago
Oh god now i know what happened to my dads wire when i put it into a car battery It short circuited
Fabius Maximus
Fabius Maximus Month ago
Nice video . Thank you very much for sharing it with us.
Abboud Month ago
Good job keep it up
PotaeToes Month ago
You just turned 4 weeks of learning and 12 hours of homework into a 10 minute video. Well done this is EXTREMELY helpful to me (and probably many others)
Lebohang Mohapi
Lebohang Mohapi Month ago
Very helpful, thanks.
Kimi no omae wa mou shindeiru.
Finally , I am able to understand..
Harvinder Singh Brar
DC the key, difussion back to Earth, Earth - the Key of cosmic movements 🙏 the new DC must be difused to nearest possible EARTH (ELEMENT, AIR, ROUND, TENTH) It will generate 1+ AC , 1AC+AC, AC
Harvinder Singh Brar
Harvinder Singh Brar
Abdul Basir
Abdul Basir Month ago
which technology you have used for making video
forty five
forty five Month ago
You saved me thank you
Hardhik Padhy
Hardhik Padhy Month ago
please expand your channel. your channel is awesome. this will help billions of students. please make videos on more topics too.. love this video.
gaming with cherry berry
This helps me so much with my Science classes! I was so lost before when I was being taught conductors. Thank you so much!
Tarling Khongwir
Waw ! What a nice explanation. Your voice is clear. The background music is also very nice.
Coby Booher
Coby Booher Month ago
How do we know about protons neutrons and electrons if we can’t see inside of an atom
Coby Booher
Coby Booher Month ago
@Mpho Rejakong I know I sure don’t
Mpho Rejakong
Mpho Rejakong Month ago
@Coby Booher very good point. I think 99. 9 % of us don't know what electricity is
Coby Booher
Coby Booher Month ago
@gaming with cherry berry then why is it taught as a fact in school, I feel like everything I’ve been taught is either a lie or just a theory. We act like we know way more than what we actually do
gaming with cherry berry
Like I said, atoms are theoretical in science as an attempt to understanding how things work
Coby Booher
Coby Booher Month ago
@gaming with cherry berry I get they are tiny but how do we know whats inside of it, we also somehow know how many protons neutrons and electrons are are in each element and I’m just confused how we know that if we can’t see inside of an atom, also how do we know they make up everything
your coolest guy i ever learned from wow
Barry Foster
Barry Foster Month ago
As a heating engineer, I would like to thank my old tech college instructor for teaching me Ohms Law - as 'Virgins Are Rare' and 'Where Virgins Are'. As a 17 year-old , it was a brilliant way to remember how to work out wattage, voltage, amps, and resistance. It's never left me, and I'm 62, now. I use it almost weekly in my job. I only came on here to refresh my memory on the name of the outermost electron cloud.
Michael Chira
Michael Chira Month ago
More videos on atoms, electricity and molecules please!
Arya Jain
Arya Jain Month ago
Teacher are good but they don't know how study online
Sneha Raj V P
Sneha Raj V P Month ago
Thank you so much Sir, this is amazing
Shivy Ze great
Shivy Ze great Month ago
The music is scary lmao XD
sughan kaarthik
sughan kaarthik Month ago
the most simplest way to understand electricity.
gideon bolt
gideon bolt Month ago
they have not explained what electricity is here, electricity is a combination of two energy forms, magnetism and one other, when these energy forms combine you get an electron, like combining two primary colours to get a secondary colour. This is a simple explanation.
Seif mwita
Seif mwita Month ago
This channel deserve millions of subscribers 😊
ilhandurmus Month ago
There are two types of electric .. the one we use with electrons and also there is another one with positrons.. the one with electrons works with right hand rule the cause of this positive charge of the electron follows direction of electromagnetic fluidity and negative charges follows opposite direction which cause rotating with right hand rule but positrons are completely opposite of this negative charges of positrons follows magnetic fluidity and positive charges of positrons opposite direction .. so the turn around it self with left hand rule … now you will ask how you will produce electric with positrons .. it’s simple :)
Simran A K
Simran A K 2 months ago
Elements variable with different number of protons are called isotopes Elements variable with different number of neutrons are called isotones. You are wrong.
Taran Saxena
Taran Saxena 2 months ago
This very well explained. You earned a subscription
Tamia Isabel Guerrero Duran
2021 xddddddddd
سيف ذوالفقار احمد SAIF DH AHMED
جامعه بغداد كليه العلوم قسم فيزياء 🖤
Cle ray
Cle ray 2 months ago
Everything about this video, the animation, explanation, analogy, are all simply brilliant!!
Pragati 2 months ago
I hope that you will keep making these super cool videos. I actually have a suggestion maybe you should expand your education platform. Just collect all your videos one one subject at a time and make paid/free courses on platforms like Udemy or Coursera or unacademy. I have bought paid and free courses on such subjects and yours is up to par.
Pragati 2 months ago
Wow! I found a amazing channel. Keep up your good work!
the tunisian king
the tunisian king 2 months ago
you have just said what i was learning for more than 4 years
Kafi Kfishna
Kafi Kfishna 2 months ago
My previous question follows from the narrator's statement that before touching, the door handle is neutral in charge state.
Kafi Kfishna
Kafi Kfishna 2 months ago
6:33, one gets zapped, electrons transfer to the hand from the door handle and neutralize the hand. But by giving away loose electron from its surface, doesn't the handle itself now become a positively charged surface? What does neutralize the handle, now that it is positively charged by giving away electrons to the hand that touched it?
Bunty Halder
Bunty Halder 2 months ago
Nice video
Urfan.Aghayev 2 months ago
soo clear and understandable. thank you
ferlinysoal 2 months ago
i love this. thank you
Abrar Mohammed A (PGDM AS 14-16)
i am at the age of 30, now i know how the bulb lights at my home.
Thanos 2 months ago
I always feared electricity and magnetism in physics I think its my friend now, thanks to this video.
indian 2 months ago
Thanks to you .. you made it too easy to understand.
gennidi 2 months ago
Dont understand the door handle example. Why does it not become positively charged if it loses electrons to the person when restorning a charge balance ? Is the door handle insulated within the fram of the door?
Arnav Sinha
Arnav Sinha 2 months ago
I have only problem regarding to this chapter is what does happens by which electric current is generated? and how does it flow? what is actually flow of charges are they ions?
Stephen Rennie
Stephen Rennie 2 months ago
Please please please do the video you mentioned about how batteries work!!
MK.Pathfinder 2 months ago
This is by far the best video I've watched!
MegaSquiff 3 months ago
Thanks for the clear explanation. Subscribed!
H.AmZ.A 3 months ago
What a superb explenaition!!!!! This is exactly what should be studied in schools.. keep up the great work and hope you have bigger audiance
Danny Su
Danny Su 3 months ago
Mahad Mushtaq
Mahad Mushtaq 3 months ago
bro thank you soooo much this video made me understand the whole thing in just 10 min and i didn't understand it for the past 2 months with my teacher thank you sooo much
Paul Onium
Paul Onium 3 months ago
What a great video! It's so sad you abandoned this useful channel. Anyway thank you for your work. It helps.
Sergeant Crow
Sergeant Crow 3 months ago
Excellent !
Arhan Abhijit
Arhan Abhijit 3 months ago
Very nice video, learnt a lot😊
Gaurav Paliwal
Gaurav Paliwal 3 months ago
This is something which is much needed in Indian Education!
Mario Dalla Riva
Mario Dalla Riva 3 months ago
Bravo! Extremely well done educational video. 👏🏻
Brosoline Ray
Brosoline Ray 3 months ago
I understand alot more than in the past 4 years...thank you for this informative video🙏🙏👌👌👌
Balys 3 months ago
i feel enlightened. thank you
aestheticvibes 3 months ago
camosuki ‘
camosuki ‘ 3 months ago
In a stable, resting, or rather, neutral electrical condition, these charges balance each other within the atom. This gives the atom a net electric charge of zero, for each positive proton you will find one negative electron. In this state the atom is at its lowest possible energy level, which we call the ground state of the atom.
keila martinez
keila martinez 3 months ago
Energy is the ability (not fitness) to do work. ... Main sources of renewable energy: Energy from the sun, Geothermal energy (from heat within the earth). Wind energy, plant biomass and hydroelectricity (from flowing water).That is, the concept of energy is defined as the ability to make things work. Thats what i understood.
Health Fitness and Food
hello, which software you are using for making such great animations?
Tasmiyah Tasmiyah
Tasmiyah Tasmiyah 3 months ago
I use paint 'cause I'm in yr 6
thesv 3 months ago
Thank you
Tig D
Tig D 3 months ago
This is the best explanation I've found yet. I've gotten by on the old water pressure/flow analogy for a while but wanted to better understand what's actually happening. "Electrons are not spent…" answered one of my most basic questions. Thank you. All right, onward…
M F 3 months ago
I have a big admiration for Biology and Chemistry but Physics have special place in my heart
D UP SRILANKA 3 months ago
good explain.i like it.thank u r team
Harish Chafakarnde
Harish Chafakarnde 3 months ago
Nice lecture sir 👌 👏 👍
اريام علي
اريام علي 3 months ago
why didn't our chemistry teacher explain it this way ! 🤦🏻‍♀️
Bryan Hann
Bryan Hann 3 months ago
Defining terms like 'electric current' and 'electric charge' is not defining the term 'electricity'. What is *electricity*?
Bryan Hann
Bryan Hann 3 months ago
@Joeseph Smith : You are telling me when something is, not what something is.
I.M John
I.M John 3 months ago
Electricity without a ground---i hook up a wire to a power source and put a light in the circuit. Now the electricity starts to flow but the wire fills up and there is no ground so the flow stops. i hook up a ground and the flow starts up and the light lights.. the light should light up anytime there is current flow. When i hook up the power source to the wire (no ground in the circuit) the current starts to flow and the light should light up as the current goes through the light if only for a milisecond.Then no more current flow since no ground and so no more light.. Theory- if i had a long enough wire so the current would continue to flow the light should light without a ground. Or i find a way to slow down the current so it takes longer to go through the wire and the light stays light at least until the current finds out that the circuit is not complete
CorporealCasimir 3 months ago
So the human has a positive charge...It has lost electrons onto the insulator (carpet). The carpet is negatively charged. The copper door handle is neutrally charged. The human gets zapped with loads of electrons from the copper and the human becomes neutral...Yet the copper also remained neutral...Surely it would be positive? It just sent a load of electrons to the human. This is my main stumbling block with electricity. I can do the equations easily etc, that's just simple maths, but the entire premise of it makes no physical sense to me. For example, a motor turning fast surrounded by copper, somehow creates electricity. How? Why is an object turning creating electrons? Where do they come from? How does a spinning shaft create electrons? And if we use so many electrons to power things, why aren't we gradually turning the Earth more and more positively charged as we drag electrons from atoms to power our stuff..
Yolanda Sibutha
Yolanda Sibutha 4 months ago
Very easy to understand and nothing rather complicated 🙏Really appreciate your effort
Shital Modi
Shital Modi 4 months ago
What happens to imbalance charge between carpet and us.
DE LEON, Maria
DE LEON, Maria 4 months ago
Ball Uppp
Ball Uppp 4 months ago
Thank you so much for explaining this perfectly for me it’s so easy to understand and such a great help for me to learn more stuff
Christian Makeup storytimes
People who read this remember God loves you and if you are going through a bad time it will get bwtter
Subrahmanyam Rentala
Hi, Thanks for the video, but I have a quick question: Why does the atoms in a Cu wire easily exchange electrons? Why Cu atoms exchange the electrons? For the electrons to be mobile do they not require a positive charge ( protons) to get attracted? Where are the protons gettings genearted in a Cu wire?
Michael Solomon
Michael Solomon 4 months ago
Why didn't the positive charge not become neutral
Pixin Clever
Pixin Clever 4 months ago
Finally, I learnt something.
Sloppy Potato
Sloppy Potato 4 months ago
Imagine our solar system was an atom, and our sun was the nucleus. And the universe is the object ( made out of atoms ).
Mark Steven Delgado
Mark Steven Delgado 4 months ago
I wish I had found this video before. Thank you soooo much dude
FL Burrito
FL Burrito 4 months ago
Hi Josh! You stink
Vrinda Yadav
Vrinda Yadav 4 months ago
I'm out of school, just here for curiousity, wish knew this at school.
Monty Wallace
Monty Wallace 4 months ago
butter dog
Godwin Mpazi
Godwin Mpazi 4 months ago
Beautiful..May God bless and keep you for future generations.Amen
Layarion 4 months ago
Hey I watched your video at 50% speed. Still had to pause it many times. You blow through many topics way too fast, and you do not respect the animation rule of "stage presence". you should look it up.
Light Shadow
Light Shadow 4 months ago
Electricity is air.
Tyson Tavares
Tyson Tavares 4 months ago
Très Facile !
Très Facile ! 4 months ago
thanks a lot
black and blue gamer
So cool i understend thanks sk much
Nithjkhgj Fvb
Nithjkhgj Fvb 4 months ago
Thank you for nice and helpful video
The Origin of the Elements