Know Your Electric Cords
It’s easy to look at electric cords and think that there must not be much to them. In fact, most people probably think so little of them that they don’t think hard enough about them to know that they’re thinking little of them. People just expect electric cords to work, and their understanding of an electric cord’s modus operandi is generally limited to something like this: electricity goes in here, and it comes out there. That’s not entirely inaccurate, but in the interest of enriching general public understanding, let’s figure out exactly what electric cords do and how they do it.
As you certainly could have guessed, power cords are everywhere. You use them in your house, if you’re an industrial professional you use them at work and if you work in an office you use them there too. In each case, they’re used to direct electrical current from a source to a destination. While the sources and destinations will vary from one situation to another, all electric cords have this in common: they connect an electronic device to a power source. The source is usually referred to as the mains, which is eventually connected to a source of power generation, such as a power plant. The cord itself is the medium for electric current transmission.
Electric current is defined as the flow of electric charge through something. To say that an electric charge is flowing through a medium is another way of saying that electrons are traveling across a medium. When that charge travels through the device to which the power cord is attached, it provides the energy necessary to make the device work. However, in order to work properly, that charge must then travel back toward the source in order to complete an electrical circuit. The device will only function correctly when that circuit is closed. This, in simple terms, is how an electric cord works.