From P.Rocha@ucl-cs.UUCP Fri Jul 7 15:29:24 1989 From: P.Rocha@ucl-cs.UUCP Subject: Electricity Basics From: P.Rocha@uk.ac.ucl.cs I found this on 'The Institute', the IEEE news supplement to IEEE Spectrum (V13, N4, April 1989). It really made me revise my concepts of Electricity. I hope you will enjoy it ! Paulo +-----------------------------+---------------------------------------------+ Paulo Valverde de L. P. Rocha | JANET:procha@uk.ac.ucl.cs Department of Computer Science| BITNET:procha%uk.ac.ucl.cs@UKACRL University College London |Internet:procha%cs.ucl.ac.uk@nsfnet-relay.ac.uk Gower Street | ARPANet:procha@cs.ucl.ac.uk London WC1E 6BT | UUCP:...!mcvax!ukc!ucl-cs!procha +-----------------------------+---------------------------------------------+ PRIMER FOR HOMEOWNERS: THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM -------------------------------------------- The most important thing to find out about the electrical system is whether it cointains enough "volts", which are little tiny pieces of electricity shaped like arrows so you can tell which direction they're moving ... The standard measurement for volts is "amps", also called "watts", which travel around in what is called a "circuit" . A typical circuit works as follows: At the electrical company, fuel oil is burned to set fire to a generator, which gives off electrical energy in the form of sparks, which are put into wires and sent to your home, where the electricity waits in the wall until you turn on your toaster, at which point it rushes through the wire abd into the English muffin and from there into your stomach, where it remains until a cool, dry day when you are walking down a hall scuffing your feet on a carpet and you go to open a door, causing the electricity to leap into the doorknob, where it remains forever, building up over time to tremendously high levels, which os why scientists are now concerned that some unscrupulous entity such as Libya or God forbid an adolescent male ever figures how to release this power, he could, using only the latent doorknob energy contained in a singleolder ranch-style home, vaporize Oregon. But your immediate concern, as a potential buyer, is making sure that the house has the right number of volts . Following is a chart depicting the most popular voltages currently available in the housing market: POPULAR HOME VOLTAGES 120 220 9* * Requires 9-volt battery (not included) Which voltage is right for you? This, more than anything else, is a matter of taste; and like most matters of personal taste, it is best left in the hands of a qualified interior designer. (Primary source of text: "Homes and Other Black Holes", by Dave Barry and Jeff MacNelly, Random House, New York, 1988) 