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Handbook of Energy by Christopher G. Morris, Cutler J. Cleveland

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Section 10

Electricity

The ability to utilize electrical energy is one of the major achievements of history. In terms of altering the way humans live, electricity’s impact is surpassed only by the development of energy sources other than human and animal power in the Industrial Revolution.

Progress toward the full-scale use of electricity has had three basic phases, representing distinct challenges at different points in history. The first was to understand the phenomenon of electricity itself. The second was to take the necessary practical steps to make use of it. The third, which continues today, was and is to obtain the necessary energy resources to provide electrical power on a large-scale basis.

The existence of static electricity was known ...

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