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In a solid-state component, the current is confined to solid elements and compounds engineered specifically to switch and amplify it.
The presence of an electric charge, which can be either positive or negative, produces an electric field.
The movement of electric charges is an electric current and produces a magnetic field.
Electricity is at the heart of many modern technologies, being used for: Electrical phenomena have been studied since antiquity, though progress in theoretical understanding remained slow until the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Even then, practical applications for electricity were few, and it would not be until the late nineteenth century that electrical engineers were able to put it to industrial and residential use.
Ancient Egyptian texts dating from 2750 BCE referred to these fish as the "Thunderer of the Nile", and described them as the "protectors" of all other fish.
Electric fish were again reported millennia later by ancient Greek, Roman and Arabic naturalists and physicians.Thales of Miletus made a series of observations on static electricity around 600 BCE, from which he believed that friction rendered amber magnetic, in contrast to minerals such as magnetite, which needed no rubbing.Thales was incorrect in believing the attraction was due to a magnetic effect, but later science would prove a link between magnetism and electricity.Electricity would remain little more than an intellectual curiosity for millennia until 1600, when the English scientist William Gilbert wrote De Magnete, in which he made a careful study of electricity and magnetism, distinguishing the lodestone effect from static electricity produced by rubbing amber.Later in the 18th century, Benjamin Franklin conducted extensive research in electricity, selling his possessions to fund his work.Through such people as Alexander Graham Bell, Ottó Bláthy, Thomas Edison, Galileo Ferraris, Oliver Heaviside, Ányos Jedlik, William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, Charles Algernon Parsons, Werner von Siemens, Joseph Swan, Reginald Fessenden, Nikola Tesla and George Westinghouse, electricity turned from a scientific curiosity into an essential tool for modern life.In 1887, Heinrich Hertz discovered that electrodes illuminated with ultraviolet light create electric sparks more easily.The rapid expansion in electrical technology at this time transformed industry and society, becoming a driving force for the Second Industrial Revolution.Electricity's extraordinary versatility means it can be put to an almost limitless set of applications which include transport, heating, lighting, communications, and computation.The first solid-state device was the "cat's-whisker detector" first used in the 1900s in radio receivers.A whisker-like wire is placed lightly in contact with a solid crystal (such as a germanium crystal) to detect a radio signal by the contact junction effect.