• Question: Is there a possibility that in the future someone will invent something better than electricity?

    Asked by 339xmasen23 to Saiful, Piers, Petra, Olivia, Meggi, Jemma, Iain, Chris, Charlie on 10 Jan 2017.
    • Photo: Chris Eames

      Chris Eames answered on 10 Jan 2017:

      Hi thanks for the interesting question.

      Electricity is one way that we get energy from one place to another. In the past we used water (to turn wheels to mill flour and so on) and steam (to drive the pistons that turn train wheels).

      The trouble is that all of our fancy electronic computers and gadgets are very small and having something like water sloshing around inside would be no good. Electrons are ideal because they are everywhere inside all matter – anytime you want to move around inside a material you will interact with electrons.

      Now your question was can we do better? Could there be some other particle that we could move around to transfer energy? It’s posssible. Fibre optic cables for example use pulses of light to transfer information. Nuclear fission breaks atoms apart to release energy. Nuclear fusion sticks atoms together to release even more energy.

      But ultimately all these things involve electricity at some point – it’s just so convenient and easy to control!

    • Photo: Petra Cameron

      Petra Cameron answered on 13 Jan 2017:

      If I was going to make a prediction I would say yes! The world has changed enormously in the last 100 years and I am sure it will continue to change rapidly in the future. I personally hope that in the next 100 years we will come up with new technologies that will help us to tackle the enormous problem of climate change. Part of that solution might envolve new ways of generating and transporting energy!


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