Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Electricity = water

When you first discover a new phenomenon, how do you describe and understand it?
Usually borrowing ideas from existing and related fields.

Electricity for example was initially considered similar to flow of water.
The metaphor we use for electricity is so embedded in the language that we hardly notice: the metaphor is based on the notion of a flow of water and uses the word current.
'' [from here]

And also
Current is a measure of the magnitude of the flow of electrons in a circuit. It is measured in Amperes, or Amps. Many people explain electrical flow by using water flow as an analogy. Following that analogy, current would be how much water (or electricity) is flowing past a certain point. The higher the amperage, the more water (or electricity) is flowing.
Voltage is a measure of the electrical energy of a circuit. It is measured in Volts. In the water analogy, voltage would be the water pressure ...

'' [from here]

For example, Gentner and Gentner (1983) found that when people were taught about how electricity works via a metaphor with flowing water some of their errors in understanding electricity reflected “overmapping” of the water metaphor (i.e., extending the metaphor to aspects of the target for which the metaphor was inappropriate).
'' [from here]

I wander if it could be possible to set up some experiments and gadgets to show the main concepts in electricity, simply using water...

I will check on MAKE or some other great site like that. :D

No comments:

Post a Comment