Electric Definition & Meaning – A Complete History and Guide

Electric is an adjective that refers to or is operated by electricity, for example, electric current.

Alternatively, an Exiting, electrifying; exhilarating – e.g., The whole atmosphere was electrifying.

Alternatively, this can be used as a noun, as in – How much do you pay for food and electricity?

Electric Definition & Meaning
Electric Definition & Meaning

What is Electric in Physics?

Electricity is defined as a phenomenon involving stationary or moving electric charges. Electric charge is a basic feature of matter that is carried by elementary particles. The electron is the particle involved in electricity, and it carries a charge that is classified as negative by convention.

An electric field is created by an electric charge, which can be positive or negative. The movement of electric charges results in an electric current and a magnetic field.

A force acts on a charge when placed in an area with a non-zero electric field. Coulomb’s law determines the magnitude of this force. If the charge moves, the electric field will work on the charge.

Thus, we can talk about the electric potential at a certain place in space, which is equal to the work carried out by an external agent in transferring a unit of positive charge from an arbitrarily determined reference point to that position without any acceleration and is commonly measured in volts.

Hence electric is the fundamental property of the matter electricity.

For millennia, electricity was little more than an intellectual curiosity until 1600, when the English scientist William Gilbert published De Magnete, a detailed study of electricity and magnetism. William Gilbert distinguished the lodestone effect from static electricity produced by rubbing amber.

To describe the property of attracting small things after being rubbed, he invented the New Latin term electricus (“of amber” or from v, elektron, the Greek word for “amber”).

This relationship gave rise to the English words “electricity” and “electric,” which emerged in print for the first time in 1646 in Thomas Browne’s book Pseudodoxia Epidemica.

What is Electric in Physics

What is Electric Charge?

When placed in an electromagnetic field, the physical attribute of matter known as electric charge causes it to experience a force. A positive or negative electric charge can always exist (commonly carried by protons and electrons, respectively). Similar type charges repel each other, while dissimilar charges attract each other.

The term “neutral” refers to an object that has no net charge. The early understanding of how charged substances interact is today known as classical electrodynamics, and it is still valid for issues that do not need the consideration of quantum phenomena.

Electric charge is a conserved property; the net charge of an isolated system, which is the sum of positive and negative charges, cannot change. Subatomic particles carry an electric charge. In ordinary matter, electrons carry a negative charge, while protons carry a positive charge in the nuclei of atoms.

If a piece of matter contains more electrons than protons, it has a negative charge; if there are fewer, it has a positive charge; and if there are equal numbers, it is neutral.

The fundamental attribute of matter that exhibits electrostatic attraction or repulsion in the presence of other matter with charge is the charge itself. Electric charge is a property shared by numerous subatomic particles. 

The charges of free-standing particles are integer multiples of the elementary charge e, referred to as quantization of electric charge. Michael Faraday was the first person to notice the discrete nature of electric charge in his electrolysis experiments.

Electric Current 

Electric current is any movement of electric charge carriers such as subatomic charged particles (e.g., positively charged protons), ions (atoms that have lost or earned one or more electrons), or holes (electron imperfections which may be thought of as positive particles).

An electric current in a wire, where the charge carriers are electrons, is a measure of the amount of charge which will pass through any wire point in a unit of time.

The electric current’s magnitude is measured in coulombs per second.

The speed of electrical current transmission is substantially different from the speed of the movement of the electron. The electron itself will bounces around in the conductor, possibly moving at only a few centimeters per second. This indicates that in the case of alternating current, where the current changes direction 50 or 60 times per second, most electrons never leave the wire.

Electric Current

What is Electric Potential?

This is the energy which requires to move a charge against an electric field is referred to as electric potential energy. More energy is required to move a charge further in the electric field, but much more energy is required to move it through a stronger electric field.

Electric potential is a scalar quantity, meaning it only has magnitude and no direction. It can be compared to height: just as a released object will fall across a difference in height induced by a gravitational field, a charge will ‘fall’ across a voltage caused by an electric field.

In the same way, that relief maps display contour lines identifying places of equal height, an electrostatically charged object can be surrounded by a series of lines marking points of equal potential (known as equipotentials). At right angles, the equipotentials span all lines of force. They must also be parallel to the surface of a conductor, or else a force will be generated that will shift the charge carriers to even out the potential of the surface.

Consider a large negatively charged plate with a small positively charged particle clinging to it by the electric force. An electric field surrounding the plate attracts all positively charged items (while pushing other negatively charged objects away).

You take the positive particle and begin to draw it away from the plate against the electric field’s force. It’s difficult to work since an electric force is drawing them together. If you let go of the positive particle, it will be drawn back to the negative plate by the electric field.

The energy utilized to propel the particle away from the plate is stored as electrical potential energy in the particle. When a particle is released, it has the ability to migrate.

What Exactly is an Electric Circuit?

An electric circuit is defined as a connection of electric components that causes electric charge to flow along a closed path (a circuit), typically to perform some useful duty.

An electric circuit’s components can take numerous forms, including resistors, capacitors, switches, transformers, and electronics. Electronic circuits contain active components, often semiconductors, and exhibit nonlinear behavior, necessitating complicated analysis. The most basic electric components are passive and linear: while they may temporarily store energy, they contain no sources of it and respond linearly to stimuli.

What Exactly is an Electric Circuit

What is Electronics?

An electronic component is any physical element in an electronic system that is utilized to alter electrons or their associated fields to be compatible with the electronic system’s intended function. Components are typically meant to be soldered to a printed circuit board (PCB) to form an electronic circuit with a given function (for example, radio receiver, an amplifier, or oscillator).

Electronics is the study of electrical circuits that use active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes, optoelectronics, sensors, and integrated circuits, as well as the passive connecting technologies that go with them. 

Electronics are widely employed in information processing, telecommunications, and signal processing due to the nonlinear nature of active components and their capacity to influence electron fluxes.

Digital information processing is made feasible by electronic equipment’s ability to operate as switches. Circuit boards, electronics packaging techniques, and other various forms of communication infrastructure complete circuit functioning and transform the mixed components into a normal working system.


The world electric has its literal meaning. Apart from that, this word is associated with physics and general electricity. You can’t think of electricity without electric being involved in it. We hope now that you got a clear idea about all relevant meanings and definitions associated with the word electric.





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