|MadSci Network: Physics|
I understand that in a battery, chemical changes occur, and hence the battery becomes depleted. However, when you hook up, say, a coil heater to AC mains supply, the electrons flow through the live wire, and through the heater, and presumably they exit through the neutral wire. Why can't the escaping electricity be re-harnessed? (If it is indeed escaping, however for the electrons to be 'used' I imagine chemical reactions taking place....and they don't, right?) If this is wrong, then what about the electron flow is changed? Is it the speed of the flow? The direction of the flow? Or is it something more complex like a change in quantum state? Or are the electrons actually 'used' up? Or, finally, is electricity being described as a 'flow of electrons' just an analogy to make it easier for high school kids like me to understand it's nature? (By god it wouldn't surprise me.) Thanks!
Re: Is electricity ever 'used'?
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