The contemporary world and its society are known for the highly developed technologies that make people’s lives easier and simpler. The number of useful and sophisticated inventions grows nearly every day. The scientists work on new ways of studying the world we live in, exploring its resources and using them to improve our quality of life.
This process began centuries ago, yet its most active stage was launched in the middle of the nineteenth century, and one of the major moving forces of the rapid technological development was the reception and application of electricity.
The period of time when the scientists of Europe first started using electricity to create powerful engines and high functioning mechanisms gave a push to such processes as industrialization, urbanization, and globalization; it made a massive impact on the world’s society, its way of living, and habits, it produced massive cultural, political and economic changes.
There is a common misconception that electricity actually may be an invention, but it is one of the natural forms of energy, it has always existed on our planet so it could not possibly be “invented”. The most influential and powerful invention was the discovery of electricity and of ways of using it for various technologies.
Historically, some of the first encounters humans made with electricity date back to Ancient Greece, when people first discovered the rubbing fur and amber together created the attraction between the two surfaces and also lighter objects, which occurred due to static electricity (Atkinson, 2014). This cannot be called a discovery because the reasons or practical use of this phenomenon were not understood.
The more recent interest towards electricity started to form in the 1600s when William Gilbert, inspired by the writings of ancient Greeks created his own work about magnetism, he also was the one who introduced the term “electrical” (Bellis, 2014). After that, such scientists as Descartes, Fermat, Grimaldi, Hooke, Von Guericke and Gray developed the knowledge about electricity.
In 1747 came Franklin’s theory of positive and negative electric charges (History of Electricity from its Beginning, 2012). This theory was followed by Faraday’s discovery of electric induction and the work of electric currents. Finally, the geniuses of Edison and Tesla brought light to all the average households and made the first hydroelectric engines and plants possible (The History of Electricity, 2014).
Ever since electricity and its qualities and possibilities were discovered the speed of technological progress in our world has been growing. The discovery of electricity became the necessary basis for the occurrence of multiple other sciences and inventions that are constantly used and are of crucial meaning in the contemporary world.
The modern society, its life and well being depends on electricity wholly. We cannot imagine our lives without cell phones, computers, the internet, coffee makers, toasters, washing machines, and microwave ovens, and all of these devices work due to electricity, but we often forget that more crucial needs of ours are fulfilled with the help of this discovery (Electricity, women and the home, n. d.).
For example, light in our cities, streets, and homes is electricity, water in our taps is running because of electrical pumps. The impact of electricity on the society of the world and its lifestyle is hard to overestimate. Today it is responsible for our survival.
At the beginning of the nineteenth century at least eighty percent of the population of our planet lived in rural areas and worked in agriculture, the appearance of electric engines created many workplaces in the cities and enforced the process of urbanization. In the modern world, the majority of people live in or close to urban areas.
This is how electricity changed our social geography. Besides, electricity has made an impact on the taste of our food, our education, our medicine and communication (Valdes, 2012). Electricity in hospitals helps to save millions of lives every day. The internet and cell phones have speeded up the world’s communication massively, changed the way people interact with each other. Electricity gave us new modes of transportation too – trams, trains, and trolleybuses function due to electric power.
Basically, the major electric generators are responsible for human life support. Besides, such huge inventions as nuclear power and space exploration are possible because of the discovery of electric power. Electricity and the knowledge of its current, its qualities and effects, its structure and capacities are the discoveries that influenced our world, changed it, shaped it into what we know today. Every human-made object we can touch or see today was made with the help of electricity one way or another.
Our culture and art also depend on electricity a lot, for example, some of the most ancient paintings and manuscripts are preserved with the help of refrigerators working from electricity. The modern mass media such as radio and television exist because of electricity. The music is written, played and delivered to the audiences today with the help of electricity.
Finally, neurosurgery works through the understanding of electric impulses human brain sends to the body making it function. Electricity constantly penetrates humans, this world, and every aspect of life; this is why its discovery can be considered the most influential and important invention.
Atkinson, N. (2014). Who Discovered Electricity? Web.
Bellis, M. (2014). History of Electricity. Web.
Electricity, women and the home. (n. d.). Science Museum. Web.
History of Electricity from its Beginning. (2012). Scholz Electrical. Web.
The History of Electricity, (2014). Code-Electrical. Web.
Valdes, C. (2012). Electricity: How it Changed the World Forever. Web.