A Ridiculously Brief History of Electricity

Brain Scan MRI

In contrast to the barbaric electric chair, contemporary engineers and inventors have discovered innumerable and beneficial applications of electromagnetism--in medicine, communications, and manufacturing, to name a few.  For that matter, in almost any area of human endeavor, electromagnetism is used to increase human potential.

Thanks to our understanding of electromagnetism, we can peer out to the edges of the universe or into the minutest particles of matter.

The modern MRI is a remarkable example of the benefits of electromagnetism.  MRI stands for magnetic resonance imaging. When a patient is wheeled into an MRI machine, he or she is being exposed to some of the most powerful magnetic fields ever created by humans. This magnetic field, approximately 30,000 times more powerful than the earth's magnetic field, causes a harmless displacement of the hydrogen protons of all the water molecules in the test patient. This displacement of the spinning hydrogen protons causes them to resonate (vibrate) radio waves (also part of the electromagnetic spectrum). Through an enormously complex set of computations, these radio signals are translated by computers into exquisitely detailed images of internal tissues and organs.

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Even more important, life as we know it wouldn't be possible without the electricity produced by all higher life forms. Your body's nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, and an enormous network of nerves that thread throughout your body. These thin threads of nerve cells are called neurons. When a neuron is stimulated by heat, cold, touch, sound vibrations or any other message, it begins to actually generate a tiny electrical pulse. This electricity and chemical change travels the full length of the neuron. But when it gets to the end of finger-like points at the end of the neuron, it needs help getting across to the next extended finger. That's where chemicals come in. The electrical pulse in the cells triggers the release of chemicals that carry the pulse to the next cell–and so on and so on.

Therefore, you, dear reader, wouldn't exist at all without electricity.Static Electrictiy