An enormous part of our lives is affected by electricity, from dawn to dusk, from the geyser which we turn 'ON' on the morning wake, the power to our coffeemaker, the traffic lights on our way to workplace, and the computers and equipment we use once we get to place. Without electricity, life, as we know, would be dramatically different. Still, most of the people never stop to think about how this essential utility became such a huge part of our lives.
There are many great names, great souls who contributed for the development of this field. The pain, tears, stress they have experienced physically, mentally, emotionally in the development of this field is something which is immortalized in the annals of Electrical history.
So as an electrical engineer it is our minimum duty to pay a tribute to them by knowing the history of Electricity.;so this book is all about the history, like how electricity became an essential part of our life, who are the great personalities contributed for the development of this field, what are the struggles they have overcome in their journey, many more facts which have been revealed & the facts which are buried beneath the earth, the secrets in the history of electricity. So here we have made an effort to present all the above topics in suitable format hoping to create eagerness in the students. The topics which we dealing are the questions, which the thinking man has been asking himself from millennia.
Have you ever thought; how fast does electricity travel? Does it travel more than speed of light or faster than sound? By the 1740s, William Watson had conducted several experiments to determine the speed of electricity. The general belief at the time was that electricity was faster than sound, but no accurate test been devised to measure the velocity of a current. Watson, in the fields north of London, laid out a line of wire supported by dry sticks and silk which ran for 12,276 feet (3.7 km). Even at this length, the velocity of electricity seemed instantaneous. Resistance in the wire was also noticed but apparently not fully understood, as Watson related that "we observed again, that although the electrical compositions were very severe to those who held the wires, the report of the Explosion at the prime Conductor was little, in comparison of that which is heard when the Circuit is short." Watson eventually decided not to pursue his electrical experiments, concentrating instead upon his medical career but he continued to support others in presenting evidence to the Royal Society.
Then Charles Wheatstone an English scientist renown by a great experiment — the measurement of the velocity of electricity in a wire. He cut the wire at the middle, to form a gap which a spark might leap across, and connected its ends to the poles of a Leyden jar. Three sparks were thus produced, one at either end of the wire, and another at the middle. He mounted a tiny mirror on the works of a watch, so that it revolved at a high velocity, and observed the reflections of his three sparks in it. The points of the wire were so arranged that if the sparks were instantaneous, their reflections would appear in one straight line; but the middle one was seen to lag behind the others, because it was an instant later. The electricity had taken a certain time to travel from the ends of the wire to the middle. This time was found by measuring the amount of lag, and comparing it with the known velocity of the mirror. Having got the time, he had only to compare that with the length of half the wire, and he could find the velocity of electricity. However experimental or calculation error led him to conclude that this velocity was 4,63,491 km per second, an impossible value as it is faster than the speed of light.