What you need to know
"No science is immune to the infection of politics and the corruption of power." –Jacob Bronowsk, British Mathematician and Biologist
Have you ever wondered what makes the world go around? A well-known nursery rhyme tells us it's cheese (because cheese make the mice go 'round, which make the cats go 'round, which make the dogs go 'round, which make the—you get the picture). But what is it really that makes anything in this world happen?
Scientists, of course, have come up with their own answer. They've identified four fundamental forces—or interactions—of physics, which, they claim, cover every phenomenon of particle interaction: gravitation, electromagnetism, the weak nuclear force (or weak interaction), and the strong nuclear force (or strong interaction). Some of these forces we've been aware of for centuries; others are fairly recent discoveries. One wonders how we missed the most recently discovered ones for so long.
Electricity and Magnetism (aka Electromagnetism)
Electricity was first recorded (as far as we know) in ancient Egyptian texts dating to around 2750 BC. They describe a fish with a shocking charge that they call the "Thunderer of the Nile."