# Electric current (symbol I) L 25 Electricity and Magnetism [3] Examples. Electrical resistance (symbol R) Potential difference or Voltage (symbol V)

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1 L 25 Electricity and Magnetism [3] Electric current (symbol ) Electric circuits what conducts electricity what does and doesn t conduct electricity Current, voltage and resistance Ohm s Law Power loss due to heat produced in a resistor Simple circuit connections 1 Electric current is the flow of electric charge q q t is the amount of charge q that passes a given point in a wire in a time t: Current is measured in amperes 1 ampere (A) = 1 C / 1 s 2 Examples A charge of 1 microcoulomb (10 6 C) passes through a wire every millisecond (10 3 s). What is the current in the wire? = q/t = 10 6 C/10 3 s = s = 10 3 A = 1 milliamp = 1 ma A current of 3 A flows in a wire. Over a period of 1 minute, how much charge passes a given point in the wire? q = t = 3 A 60 s = 180 C Potential difference or Voltage (symbol V) To make water flow in a pipe, a pressure difference must be applied between the ends of the pipe A potential difference or voltage must be applied between the ends of a conductor to make the electrons flow Voltage is supplied by a battery (DC) or a an electrical outlet (AC) 3 4 Electrical resistance (symbol R) Conductors have free electrons that roam around randomly no current To push these free electrons through a conductor, i,e., to make a current, some external force must be applied to the conductor This external force must be continually applied because the electrons experience a resistance to motion, because they keep bumping into the atoms and slowing down The slowing down of the electrons is called resistance (R) and is measured in Ohms ( ) The battery provides the external force (voltage) that keeps the electrons moving 5 Electrons pass through an obstacle course in a conductor atoms electron path The resistance (R) is a measure of the degree to which the conductor impedes the flow of current We use the symbol to represent the electrical resistance in a circuit 6 1

2 A battery is a charge pump Direction of current flow R resistor 7 By convention, the current direction is taken as the direction that positive charges would flow, so it is opposite to the electron flow 8 Current, Voltage and Resistance: OHM S LAW Resistance R Current Battery voltage V R could represent, the resistance of a light bulb, hair dryer, coffee pot, vacuum cleaner, etc. Ohm s law is a relation between current (), voltage (V) and resistance (R) = Voltage / Resistance = V / R V in volts (V), R in ohms ( ), in amps (A) equivalent forms: V = R, = V / R, R = V / 9 Examples (1) f a 3 volt flashlight bulb has a resistance of 9 ohms, how much current will it draw? = V / R = 3 V / 9 = 1/3 A (Ampere) (2) f a light bulb draws 2 A of current when connected to a 120 volt circuit, what is the resistance of the light bulb? R = V / = 120 V / 2 A = 60 (Ohms) 10 Heat produced in a resistor As we have seen before, friction causes heat The collisions between the electrons and the atoms in a conductor produce heat wires get warm when they carry currents: in an electric stove this heat is used for cooking The amount of energy converted to heat each second is called the power loss in a resistor f the resistor has a voltage V across it and carries a current, the electrical power converted to heat is given by Power: P = V = ( R) = 2 R From Ohm s law 11 Heat produced in a resistor Power P = V or 2 R Power is measured in Watts = amps volts One Watt is one Joule per second Wires are rated for the maximum current that can be handled based on how hot it can get To carry more current you need wire of a larger diameter this is called the wire gauge, the lower the gauge the more current it can carry Using extension cords can be dangerous! 12 2

3 examples How much current is drawn by a 60 Watt light bulb connected to a 120 V power line? Solution: P = 60 W = V = 120 so = 0.5 Amps (A) What is the resistance of the bulb? Solution: V = R 120 V = ½ A R so R = 240, or R = V/ How much current is used by a 2000 W hair dryer plugged into a 120 V power source? P = V = P / V = 2000W / 120 V 17 A 13 extension cords and power strips extension cords are rated for maximum current you must check that whatever is plugged into it will not draw more current than the cord can handle safely. power strips are also rated for maximum current since they have multiple inputs you must check that the total current drawn by everything on it does not exceed the posted current rating 14 Unsafe practices Parallel and Series Connections Must have capacity to carry all current V Parallel connection All bulbs have the same voltage = 12 V. The current provided by the battery is divided equally among the 3 light bulbs. 12 V Series connection The same current passes through each light bulb. Each bulb has a voltage of 4 V across it V Simple direct current (DC) electric circuits Exercise: given a battery, some wire and a light bulb, connect them so that the bulb is on. The battery polarity /- does not matter, Either way the bulb Will be on. 17 Electric circuits - key points Electrons carry the current in a conductor a circuit provides a closed path for the electrons to circulate around Conductors have a property called resistance which impedes the flow of current the battery is like a pump that re-energizes the electrons each time they pass through it Ohm s law is the relation between current, voltage and resistance: V = R When current passes through a wire, the wire heats up, the amount of heat energy produced each second (Power) is P = V = 2 R 18 3

4 What is DC (direct current)? With DC or direct current the current always flows in the same direction this is the type of current you get when you use a battery as the voltage source. the direction of the current depends on how you connect the battery the electricity that you get from the power company is not DC it is AC (alternating). We will discuss AC in the next lecture 19 connecting batteries do s and don ts don t connect a wire from the side to the side, this shorts out the battery and will make it get hot and will shorten its lifetime. Do not do this 20 dueling batteries Do not do this Proper battery connections Connecting two 1.5 volt batteries gives like this gives 3.0 volts. The batteries are trying to push currents in opposite directions they are working against each other. This does not work. 21 A Flashlight! 22 Batteries in parallel This connection still gives 1.5 volts but since there are 2 batteries it will provide electrical current for a longer time Longer lasting power series and parallel combination 1.5 V 1.5 V Series connection [ ] gives 3.0 V 1.5 V 1.5 V Parallel connection [ ] [ ] provides 3.0 V 1.5 V D Cell 23 This connection provides 3.0 volts and will provide power for a longer amount of time 24 4

5 Disposable vs. Rechargeable Batteries Disposable batteries are electrochemical cells that convert chemical energy into electrical energy. Because the electrode materials are irreversible changed during discharge, they must be replaced Rechargeable batteries are also electrochemical cells, but use materials in which the chemical reactions can be reversed in the recharging process 25 5

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