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In this unit we are learning

about the physics of electricity


and electronics.
This includes circuits, Ohms
law, resistance, electrical
energy and power.

Electric Circuits
Vocabulary
Potential
Difference/Voltage/EMF
Circuit
Current
Resistance
Power
Direct Current (DC)
Alternating Current (AC)
Compound (Complex) Circuit

Ohms Law
Voltmeter
Ammeter
Series Circuit
Parallel Circuit

What is
electricity?

Key words: electrons, conductors,


insulators, charge, current
By the end of this lesson you will be able
to:
State that electrons are free to move in a
conductor
Describe the electrical current in terms of
movement of charges around a circuit
Distinguish between conductors and insulators
and give examples of each.

The atom
An atom is a fundamental unit of matter
made up of
protons (with a positive charge)
neutrons (neutral no charge)
electrons (with a negative charge)

What is electricity?
Everything is made of atoms which contain
POSITIVE particles called PROTONS and
NEGATIVE particles called ELECTRONS.
Electron (-)

Proton (+)

Neutron

An atom will usually have the same number of


positives and negatives
This makes the atom NEUTRAL.

Electron (-)

Proton (+)

Neutron

Electrical Charge
Electric charge is given the symbol

Electrons are the charge carriers


that flow in an electrical circuit
from the negative to positive
terminals.

Electrical Charge
Charge is measured in

Coulombs

which is given the symbol

Electrical Charge
The charge on a proton is

1.6 x 10-19C
which is the same size as the charge on an
electron.

What is electricity?
Electrons have a negative charge (Q) measured in
coulombs (C).
Electrons move round a circuit from negative to
positive (remember like charges repel, opposites
attract) giving rise to an electric current.

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Conductors & Insulators


What makes something a good conductor?

Good conductors allow electrons to move


through them easily. Insulators do not
allow electrons to move easily.

What is electricity?
So electricity is
movement of charge round a
circuit.
We call this electric current.

Potential Difference
In a battery, a series of chemical
=Voltage=EMF
reactions occur in which

electrons are transferred from


one terminal to another. There is
a potential difference (voltage)
between these poles.

The maximum potential


difference a power source can
have is called the electromotive
force or (EMF), . The term isn't
actually a force, simply the
amount of energy per charge
(J/C or V)

A Basic Circuit
All electric circuits have three main parts
1.
2.
3.

A source of energy
A closed path
A device which uses the energy

If ANY part of the circuit is open the device will not work!

Electricity can be symbolic of


Circuits are very similar to water flowing through a pipe
Fluids

A pump basically works on TWO


IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES concerning its
flow

There is a PRESSURE DIFFERENCE


where the flow begins and ends
A certain AMOUNT of flow passes each
SECOND.

A circuit basically works on TWO


IMPORTANT PRINCIPLES

There is a "POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE


aka VOLTAGE" from where the charge
begins to where it ends
The AMOUNT of CHARGE that flows
PER SECOND is called CURRENT.

Charge, Current & Time


Electric current is given the symbol

Electric current is the movement of


negative charges (electrons) in a
circuit

Charge, Current & Time


Current is the amount of charge flowing
per second and is given the unit

Amps (A)

Charge, Current & Time


If
charge
per second
then
so acurrent
currentisof
1 A is flowing
1 C of charge
transferred
in 1 s.

Q
I
t

Charge transferred
in coulombs (C)

Current in Amps (A)


time in seconds (s)

Charge, Current & Time


This can be rearranged as

Q It
or

Q
t
I

Current
Current is defined as the rate at which charge flows
through a surface.

The current is in the same direction as the flow of


positive charge (though sometimes it is
considered in a different waymore on this later!)
Note: The I stands
for intensity

There are 2 types of Current


DC = Direct Current - current flows in one direction
Example: Battery

AC = Alternating Current- current reverses direction many times per second.


This suggests that AC devices turn OFF and
ON. Example: Wall outlet (progress energy)

Key words: series, parallel, current, ammeter, voltmeter,


battery, resistor, variable resistor, fuse, switch, lamp, voltage
By the end of this lesson you will be able to:
Draw circuit diagrams to show the correct positions of
an ammeter in a series or parallel circuit.
Draw and identify the circuit symbols for an ammeter, voltmeter,
battery, resistor, variable resistor, fuse, switch and lamp.
State that in a series circuit, the current is the same at
all positions.
State that in a parallel circuit, the sum of the current in
the branches adds up to the current drawn from the
supply.

Name that component


Resistor

Voltmeter

Fuse

Battery

Switch
Variable resistor

Cell

Ammeter

Lamp

Ways to Wire Circuits


There are 2 basic ways to wire a circuit. Keep in
mind that a resistor could be ANYTHING ( bulb,
toaster, ceramic materialetc)
Series One after another
Parallel between a set of junctions and
parallel to each other

Schematic Symbols
Before you begin to understand circuits you need to be able to
draw what they look like using a set of standard symbols
understood anywhere in the world
For the battery symbol, the
LONG line is considered to be
the POSITIVE terminal and the
SHORT line , NEGATIVE.
The VOLTMETER and AMMETER
are special devices you place IN
or AROUND the circuit to
measure the VOLTAGE and
CURRENT.

The Voltmeter and Ammeter


Current goes THROUGH the ammeter

The voltmeter and ammeter cannot be


just placed anywhere in the circuit. They
must be used according to their
DEFINITION.
Since a voltmeter measures voltage or
POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE it must be
placed ACROSS the device you want
to measure. That way you can measure
the CHANGE on either side of the
device.
Voltmeter is drawn ACROSS the resistor

Since the ammeter measures the current or


FLOW it must be placed in such a way as the
charges go THROUGH the device.

Simple Circuit
When you are drawing a
circuit it may be a wise
thing to start by drawing
the battery first, then
follow along the loop
(closed) starting with
positive and drawing
what you see.

When a battery is in a circuit


The electrical energy is carried by the
electrons that move round the circuit.

It is converted into others forms of


energy.

The amount of electrical energy the


electrons have at any point in a circuit is
known as their potential.
As they move the electrons transfer energy
into other forms.
This means at any two points the electron has
different amounts of energy.

Electrons start with (for example) 6J of energy. They have potential.

As they pass through


the bulb, some of the
energy is converted
to light.

Electrons which have


passed through the
bulb have less
energy. Or less
potential.
There is a potential difference
in the circuit

What has potential difference


got to do with voltage?
It is the same thing!
The potential difference (p.d.), or voltage,
of a battery is a measure of the electrical
energy given to one coulomb of charge
passing through the battery.

Potential Difference or Voltage (V)


A 9 V battery will give how much energy
to each coulomb of charge passing
through the battery?
9J

Potential Difference or Voltage (V)


A 1.5 V battery will give how much energy
to each coulomb of charge passing
through the battery?
1.5 J

Potential Difference or Voltage (V)


A battery with a p.d. of 6V will give how
much energy to each coulomb of charge
passing through the battery?
6J

Voltage or p.d.
Voltage (or p.d.) is measured in

volts

and is given the symbol

How can we measure voltage?


Voltage (or p.d.) can be measured using a
voltmeter.

An ammeter is connected in the circuit


but a voltmeter must be connected across
the component.

You cant measure voltage


in a circuit
through a circuit
through a component
flowing

Key words: resistance, series, parallel,


ohms, ohmmeter
By the end of this lesson you will be able
to:
State the relationships between total
resistance and individual resistances in
series and parallel circuits
Carry out calculations involving the
relationships between resistors in series
and in parallel

Resistors
The symbol for a resistor is

Relationship between current and


voltage in a resistor
I / Amps

Straight line through


the origin tells us that
current is
directly proportional to
voltage

p.d. /
Volts

The ratio V/I is constant


and is equal to resistance
in the circuit.

Relationship between current and


voltage in a resistor

V
is approximately constant
I
The constant is resistance R
V
R
I

Relationship between current and


voltage in a resistor

V
R
I

Ohms Law

V IR

Ohms Law
The voltage (potential difference, emf) is directly
related to the current, when the resistance is
constant
V I
R constant of proportionality
R Resistance
V IR
IR
Since R=V/I, the resistance is the
SLOPE of a V vs. I graph

R=

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o

Resistance
Resistance (R) is defined as the restriction of electron
flow. It is due to interactions that occur at the atomic
scale. For example, as electron move through a
conductor they are attracted to the protons on the
nucleus of the conductor itself. This attraction doesnt
stop the electrons, just slow them down a bit and cause
the system to waste energy.
The unit for resistance is
the OHM,

Resistors
cell
A

resistor

What do you expect


to happen to the current
if you increase the value
of the resistor in the
circuit shown?

lamp
Demonstration

Calculate
For a voltage of 12V, calculate the
current for a resistant of
(i) 1
(ii) 2
(iii)4
(iv)24
(v) 1 k

Measuring Resistance
or we can measure it directly using an

ohmmeter

Demonstration & experiment

Series and Parallel Circuits


Voltage, Current and Resistance
Vs
-

I3

I1
V1

V2

V3

R1

R2

R3

I2

What type of circuit is this?

Vs
-

I3

I1
V1

V2

V3

R1

R2

R3

I2

One electrical path from negative


to positive therefore series.

Series Circuit
In in series circuit, the resistors
are wired one after another.
Since they are all part of the
SAME LOOP they each
experience the SAME
AMOUNT of current. In
figure, however, you see
that they all exist
BETWEEN the terminals of
the battery, meaning they
SHARE the potential
(voltage).

I ( series )Total I1 I 2 I 3
V( series )Total V1 V2 V3

Series Circuit
I ( series )Total I1 I 2 I 3
V( series )Total V1 V2 V3
As the current goes through the circuit, the charges must USE ENERGY to get
through the resistor. So each individual resistor will get its own individual potential
voltage). We call this VOLTAGE DROP.

V( series )Total V1 V2 V3 ; V IR
( I T RT ) series I1 R1 I 2 R2 I 3 R3
Rseries R1 R2 R3
Rs Ri

Note: They may use the


terms effective or
equivalent to mean
TOTAL!

Example

A series circuit is shown to the left.


a) What is the total resistance?
R(series) = 1 + 2 + 3 = 6
b)

What is the total current?


V=IR

V12 V

12=I(6)

I = 2A

c)

What is the current across EACH


resistor? They EACH get 2 amps!

d)

What is the voltage drop across


each resistor?( Apply Ohm's law
to each resistor separately)

V3=(2)(3)= 6V

V2=(2)(2)= 4V

Notice that the individual VOLTAGE DROPS add up to the TOTAL!!

Vs

I3

I1
V1

V2

V3

R1

R2

R3

I2
What is the relationship between the three currents?
The current is the same at each point.

I1 I 2 I 3

Vs

I3

I1
V1

V2

V3

R1

R2

R3

I2
What is the relationship between the four voltages?
They add to equal the supply voltage.

Vs V1 V2 V3

Disadvantages of Series Circuits?


When one component fails the whole circuit
fails.

The current is the same at all points and the


voltage is divided between the bulbs. The
more bulbs added the dimmer each one is.

Vs

I3

I1
V1

V2

V3

R1

R2

R3

I2
How do you find total resistance in series?
Add each resistance together.

Rtotal R1 R2 R3

Vs
-

IT

V1
R1

IT
I1

V2
R2

I2

V3
R3

I3

What type of circuit is this?

Vs
-

IT

V1
R1

IT
I1

V2
R2

I2

V3
R3

I3

More than one electrical path components connected on different


branches therefore parallel.

Parallel Circuit
In a parallel circuit, we have
multiple loops. So the
current splits up among the
loops with the individual
loop currents adding to the It is important to understand that parallel
circuits will all have some position where
total current
the current splits and comes back
together. We call these JUNCTIONS.

The current going IN to a junction will


always equal the current going OUT of a
junction.

I ( parallel )Total I1 I 2 I 3

Regarding Junctions :
Junctions

I IN I OUT

Parallel Circuit
Notice that the JUNCTIONS both touch the

POSTIVE and NEGATIVE terminals of the


battery. That means you have the SAME
potential difference down EACH individual
branch of the parallel circuit. This means
that the individual voltages drops are equal.

V( parallel )Total V1 V2 V3
I ( parallel )Total I1 I 2 I 3 ; V IR
This junction
touches the
POSITIVE
terminal

This junction
touches the
NEGATIVE
terminal

VT
V1 V2 V3
( ) Parallel

RT
R1 R2 R3
1
1
1
1

RP R1 R2 R3
1
1

RP
Ri

Example

To the left is an example of a parallel circuit.


a) What is the total resistance?

1 1 1 1

RP 5 7 9
1
1
0.454 RP

Rp
0.454

2.20

b) What is the total current? V IR

8 I ( R ) 3.64 A
c) What is the voltage across EACH resistor?
8 V each!
d) What is the current drop across each resistor?
(Apply Ohm's law to each resistor separately)

V IR
8
8
8
I 5 1.6 A I 7 1.14 A I 9 0.90 A
5
7
9

Notice that the


individual currents
ADD to the total.

Vs
-

IT

V1
R1

IT
I1

V2

R2

I2

V3
R3

I3

What is the
relationship
between the
four
currents?
The four currents
add to give the
total current.

I T I1 I 2 I 3

Vs
-

IT

V1
R1

IT
I1

V2

R2

I2

V3
R3

I3

What is the
relationship
between the
four
voltages?
Each voltage is
equal to the
supply voltage.

VS V1 V2 V3

Vs
-

IT

V1
R1

IT

The
resistance
in parallel?

I1

V2

R2

I2

V3
R3

I3

1
1 1 1

RT R R R
1

If more resistors are connected in


parallel the total resistance will
always

decrease
This is because there are more
branches through which the
electricity can flow.

Advantages of the Parallel


Circuit?
When one bulb fails the rest of the circuit
continues to work.

The more components, the lower the


resistance. The total current drawn
increases. Voltage in each branch is the same as
the supply voltage therefore bulbs in parallel
will each be as bright as a single bulb.What have
you learned today?

Name each component.


What type of circuit is this?

The supply voltage is 6V. What is voltage V1? V2?

10

10

V1

V2

The supply voltage is 10V. What is voltage V1? V2?

10

10

V1

V2

The supply voltage is 6V. What is voltage V1? V2?

10

V1

V2

Compound (Complex)
Many times you will have series and parallel in the SAME circuit.
Circuits
Solve this type of circuit
from the inside out.
WHAT IS THE TOTAL
RESISTANCE?

1
1
1

; RP 33.3
RP 100 50
Rs 80 33.3 113 .3

Compound (Complex)
1
1
1
Circuits

; R
RP

100

50

33.3

Rs 80 33.3 113 .3

Suppose the potential difference (voltage) is equal to 120V. What is the total
current?

VT I T RT

120 I T (113 .3)


I T 1.06 A
What is the VOLTAGE DROP across the 80 resistor?

V80 I 80 R80
V80 (1.06)(80)
V80

84.8 V

Compound (Complex)
R 113 .3
Circuits
V 120V
T

I T 1.06 A
V80 84.8V
I 80 1.06 A
What is the VOLTAGE DROP across
the 100 and 50 resistor?

VT ( parallel ) V2 V3
VT ( series ) V1 V2&3
120 84.8 V2&3
V2&3 35.2 V Each!

What is the current across the


100 and 50 resistor?

I T ( parallel ) I 2 I 3
I T ( series ) I1 I 2&3
35.2
I100
0.352 A
100
35.2
I 50
0.704 A
50

Add to
1.06A

Key words: electrical energy, power,


voltage, current, resistance
By the end of this lesson you will be able
to:
State that the electrical energy
transformed each second = VI
Carry out calculations using P=IV and E=Pt
Explain the equivalence between VI, I 2R
and V2/R.
Carry out calculations involving the
relationships between power, current,
voltage and resistance.

POWER
It is interesting to see how certain electrical
variables can be used to get POWER. Lets
take Voltage and Current for example.

Other useful power formulas


These formulas can also
be used! They are
simply derivations of
the POWER formula
with different versions
of Ohm's law
substituted in.

Power
For example, an appliance with a power
rating of 250 W converts 250 Joules of
electrical energy into another form each
second.

Power
How can this be written as a formula?
Power in Watts (W)

E
P
t

Energy in Joules (J)

time in seconds (s)

Demonstration / experiment

Power & Energy Example


If an electric fire uses 1.8
MJ of energy in a time of
10 minutes, calculate the
power output of the fire.

Power & Energy Example


P=?
E = 1.8 MJ = 1.8x106 J
t=10 minutes = 600 s

Formula?

E
P
t

The formula which links voltage, power


and current:

P = VI