The 2 Main Types of Electricity

Abraham McLaughlin

There are basically two types of electricity; statics and dynamics. Electricity is a physical phenomenon that is generated in nature thanks to the existence and exchange of electrical charges existing in subatomic particles..

These electrically charged particles flow through a material capable of conducting them, generating the electric current. Electricity exists naturally in the atmosphere and is visible thanks to lightning and lightning: the separation of positive and negative charges in the clouds generates electric fields that are discharged between clouds or from the clouds towards the earth..

From the seventeenth century, serious scientific studies on electricity began to be carried out and in the nineteenth century the use and generation of electricity for domestic and industrial use was achieved.

As can be seen, the massive generation and use of electricity is something relatively recent and novel, but it would be impossible to imagine modern life without the presence of electric current..

This reality is sufficient proof that it has been one of the great scientific discoveries in history and an essential element in the world as we know it today..

The different types of electricity

Static electricity

Styrofoam sticking to a cat's fur due to static electricity. * Original image: Sean McGrath from Saint John, NB, CanadaDerived image: Black Rainbow 999 [CC BY 2.0 (]

Static electricity is the one that we appreciate when we just take our clothes out of the dryer, when some clothes get stuck to others or when we brush our hair for no apparent reason and some rise making the task of brushing almost impossible..

Static electricity can also be seen when sticking sheets of paper just out of the printer and in other everyday activities. The reason for these phenomena is explained by the presence of static electricity.

Any atom has one or more positively charged protons and as many negatively charged electrons around the nucleus..

Generally the number of protons and electrons within the atom is the same, so the atom is electrically balanced, that is, without electrical charge. However, actions such as friction can generate loads that affect nearby objects.

When two different substances undergo this contact or energetic friction, the electrons of the atoms of one of the substances could come into contact with those of the other, producing an imbalance in the charges of those atoms, which then generate static..

It is called static because it occurs in atoms in a state of rest, or rather, because the charge usually stays in a certain place in the material and does not move.

Static electricity does not behave the same in all materials. In the cases that we mentioned above, such as some textile materials or paper, the behavior is approximation.

But some materials will behave in the opposite way, that is, they repel each other when charged with static electricity..

This behavior will depend on whether the charge of each material is positive or negative, that is, if the imbalance in the atoms that compose it has more electrons (negative charge) or more protons (positive charge)..

If the two materials in question have the same charge, the behavior of both will be distancing, they will repel each other. If, on the contrary, the materials have different charges (one positive and the other negative) then their behavior will be approximating. 

One of the most common ways to produce static electricity is by friction of objects.

It can also occur by contact or by induction, which is when the charge of a certain substance produces or induces a charge in another by the simple fact of bringing one closer to another or by temperature difference / heating of certain minerals (pyroelectricity).

Dynamic electricity

Dynamic electricity is one that is produced thanks to the existence of a permanent source of electricity that causes the constant circulation of electrons through a conductor. It is the type of electricity that is truly useful for its perennial renewal capacity..

It is called dynamics because it occurs when electrons circulate and move from one atom to other atoms. This constant circulation is what produces the electric current.

The permanent sources of electricity necessary for the existence of electric current, can be of chemical or electromechanical origin.

Among the most common chemical sources we can find cells or batteries, whose chemical compounds allow the storage of electrons inside; within the electromechanical sources we find the dynamos or coils.

The generation of electricity has to do almost exclusively with the generation of electrons, which will also need conductors to carry negative charges..

Due to the presence of these conductors, we can sometimes speak of another type of electricity, rather a different way of calling dynamic electricity, such as "behavioral electricity".

There are different types of electrically conductive materials, such as carbon, aluminum, nickel, chromium, cadmium, lithium, and other minerals..


Diagram of a solenoid and its magnetic field lines. The shape of all lines was calculated according to the laws of electrodynamics. Geek3 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

This is an essential term in the study of electricity. Electricity and magnetism are closely related phenomena. Actually, they are two different aspects derived from the same property of matter, which is the electric charge..

The intensity of the electric current is determined by the magnetic field that it is capable of creating.

In 1820 Hans Oersted discovered the existence of the electromagnetic field almost by mistake, determining that magnetism was not only produced by the existence of magnets, but could also be produced by the existence of electric current. This is how the term "electromagnetism" arose..

Later, André Ampére stated that natural magnetism was produced by small electric currents that acted at the molecular level..

Faraday Maxwell also made their contributions by discovering that magnetic fields can be generated through variable electric fields..


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