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Archive for October 2008

Energy gradients

29 Oct, 2008 | Brian |

Here in the U.S. we've got 120 volts of electricity eagerly waiting to course out of any of the dozen or more outlets that typically surround us. A volt is an interesting thing. It's potential. Like water flowing from a high point to a low one, electrical energy flows from a point of high potential toward a point of low potential. That difference, that energy gradient, is what we tap into, diverting the electricity from its intended course through a longer path that runs through a hair dryer or maybe a coffee pot, so that the little quanta tumble over something very much like a waterwheel and provide power for some useful work (e.g., brewing a tasty beverage).

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