Frequently Asked Questions: Electricity

Q. Why do you get an electric shock when you get out of a car after a drive?
A. As the car travels through the air on a dry day, it causes static electricity. As you alight from the car, you make contact with the earth completing a circuit, and you are 'zapped'.

Q. What happens when an aircraft is hit by lightning?
A. There is no effect as it's not earthed.

Q. Would a lightning strike in the ocean kill fish?
A. Only in a direct hit. Electricity dissipates or spreads quickly through the water.

Q. Does freezing batteries prolong shelf-life?
A. Yes, as long as the differing metals expand at same rate and seals do not break.

Q. Three years before the battery was invented by Count Volta, an Italian scientist called Luigi Galvani discovered 'animal electricity'. He connected two electrical wires to a dissected frog's leg that was on a metal bench. Electricity flowed in the wires. How did this work?
A. The two metals - the bench and the wires - were the electrodes of a battery, and the frog's leg that was moist was the electrolyte of a battery.