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THE FIRST BOSNIAK HIGH SCHOOL
Physi cs Test X
Alternating current; capacitors; electricity in the home; magnetic fields; electromagnets; electric motors
In an alternating current direction of the current reverses regularly due to electromotive force. Generators produce a.c. (a.c.) the
A capacitor stores electric charge. In its simplest form it consists of two parallel metal plates separated by an insulator, called the dielectric.
A symbol: When a cell is connected across the capacitor plates, electric charge is forced onto the plates. If the cell is disconnected, the capacitor plates remain charged until the capacitor is connected across the conductor. By storing charge, the capacitor is effectively storing energy. When one capacitor plate is charged positive and the other negative, there is an electric field between the plates. In real capacitors, the plates and insulator are often rolled up together. Capacitors can be used in a circuit where a component is to be switched on or off after a time delay.
Alternating current makes the pointer of an ammeter move back and forth about the zero if the changes are slow enough; otherwise there is no deflection. It is visible on the graph (sine curve) that current oscillates
between maximum and minimum. Oscillation represents one complete circle. Frequency of a.c is the number of complete alternations or cycles in 1 second. The unit of frequency is the hertz (Hz). (T – period of one oscillation) f= nt ; T=tn ; f=1T Capacitance (C) is the amount of charge stored in between the two plates. The capacitance is large when the plates have a large area and are close together. It is measured in farads (F).
Types of capacitors
Practical capacitors consist of two long strips of metal foil separated by long strips of dielectric, and rolled up. The electrolytic type has a very thin layer of aluminium oxide as the dielectric between two strips of aluminium foil, giving large capacitance. It is polarized (it has + and – terminals and these must be connected to the + and – of the voltage supply).
is low enough, the base current switches off the collector-emitter current. Initially the bulb lights. After a time delay, which depends on the size of the capacitor and the resistance in the circuit, the bulb goes out.
Effect of capacitors in d.c. and a.c. circuits
The capacitor blocks d.c. (i.e. it acts like an open switch).
Charging and discharging a capacitor
A capacitor can be charged by connecting a battery across it. During the charging, there is a brief flow of electrons that would be detected by a sensitive ammeter. Charging stops when the charges on both plates of the capacitor are equal; the electron flow is the zero.
The capacitor passes a.c. In fact, no current passes through the capacitor since its plates are separated by an insulator. But as the a.c. reverses direction, the capacitor charges and discharges causing electrons to flow back and forth rapidly in the wires joining the plates. Thus effectively a.c. flows round the circuit.
When a conductor is connected across a charged capacitor, there is a brief flow of electrons from – plate to the + one. The charge stored falls to zero, as does the voltage across it.
Electricity in the home
Electricity usually comes into our homes by an underground cable containing two wires, the live (L) and the neutral (N). The neutral is earthed at the local substation and so there is no p.d. between it and the earth. The supply is a.c. and the live wire is alternately positive and negative.
a) Circuits in parallel
Every circuit is connected in parallel with the supply, i.e. across the live and neutral, and receives the full mains p.d. (230V in the UK).
As the capacitor charges, the potential difference across its plates increases. Initially R1 gets a large share of the supply PD but this share decreases as the capacitor charges. When the PD across R1
b) Switches and fuses
These are always in the live wire. A fatal shock could be obtained by putting theme in the neutral wire. (fuse – circuit breaker; osigurač)
The earth pin on a three-pin plug is joined to earth. If then, for example, the element of an electric fire breaks or sags and touches the case, large current flows to earth and “blows” the fuse. Otherwise the case would become “live” and anyone touching it would receive a shock.
c) Staircase circuit
The object is controlled from two places by the two-way switches.
g) Circuit breakers
These contain an electromagnet which, when the current exceeds the rated value of the circuit breaker, becomes strong enough to separate a pair of contacts and breaks the circuit. They operate much faster than fuses and can be reset by pressing a button. The residual current circuit breaker (RCCB) also called a residual current device (RCD) works by detecting any difference between the currents in the live and neutral wires; when these become unequal due to an earth fault it breaks the circuit before there is any danger. They have high sensitivity and quick response.
d) Ring main circuit
The live and neutral wires each run in rings round the house and the power sockets are tapped off from them. A house may have several ring circuits, each serving a different area.
e) Fused plug
Note the colours of the wire coverings: L – brown, N – blue, E – green and yellow. It has its own cartridge fuse – red or brown.
h) Double insulation
Connection to the supply is by a two-core insulated cable, with no earth wire, and the appliance is enclosed in an insulating plastic case. Any metal attachments that the user might touch are fitted into this case so that they do not make a direct connection with the internal electric parts. There is then no risk of a shock should a fault be developed.
f) Earthing and safety
A ring main is earthed by being connected either to a metal water pipe entering the house or to an earth connection on the supply cable. This is a safety precaution to prevent electric shock should an appliance develop a fault.
The metal parts are made of copper or brass because these are very good conductors. The case, cable grip and cable insulation are made of rubber or plastic because these are really good insulators and they are flexible too.
In plug the current flows through the live wire. The current flows through the fuse first. If there is a surge of current the fuse will get hot and melt. The fuse “blows” and the current can no longer flow. Fuses should be rated as near as possible just higher than the normal operating current.
It is the size of the current and the length of time for which it acts which determine the strength of an electric chock. The path of the current takes influences the effect of the shock. Damp conditions increase the severity of an electric shock because water lowers the resistance of the path to earth. To avoid the risk of getting an electric shock: ο ο Switch off the electric supply to an appliance before starting repairs. Use plugs that have an earth pin and a cord grip; a rubber or plastic case is preferred. Do not allow appliances or cables to come into contact with water. Do not have long cables in situation where the insulation can become damaged.
The National Grid
Power stations produce electricity and it is transmitted around the country by cables called power lines. This network of power lines is called the National Grid. If the electricity is transmitted at high voltages and low voltages and low currents, less energy is wasted. A transformer is used to change the voltage. The voltage must be increased as the electricity leaves the power station and decreased before it comes into our homes.
In case of an electric shock, take the following action: 1 2 3 4 Switch off the supply. Send for qualified medical assistance. If the breathing has stopped, give mouth-to-mouth. If the heart has stopped, try to restart it.
Paying for electricity
Electricity supply companies charge for the electrical energy they supply. A joule is a very small amount of energy and a larger unit, the kilowatt-hour (kWh) is used. A kilowatt-hour is the electrical energy used by a 1kW appliance in 1 hour. 1kWh=1000Js ×3600s=3 600 000J=3.6 MJ Electricity meters, joulemeters, are marked in kWh.
a) Fire risks
If flammable material is placed too close to a hot appliance, it may catch fire. Wires become hot when they carry electrical currents. To reduce the risk of fire through overheated cables, the maximum current in a circuit should be limited by taking these precautions: ο ο ο Use plugs with correct fuses. Do not overload circuits. Appliances that use large amounts of current mustn’t be connected to a lightning circuit for low current use.
Dangers of electricity
a) Electric shock
Electric chock occurs if current flows from an electric circuit through a person’s body to earth. This can happen if there is damaged insulation or faulty wiring.
Factors leading to fire or an electric shock:
damaged insulation overheated cables damp conditions
→ → →
el. shock; fire risk fire risk increased severity of el. shock
Magnetization of iron and steel
Inside a piece of iron each atom acts as a small magnet called a dipole. They are grouped together in domains. Domains in an unmagnetised piece of iron are arranged in random directions and their effects cancel each other out. A magnet will attract the iron but the iron itself is not a magnet. When the iron is exposed to a magnetic field, the domains line up in the magnetic field. All the north poles point in the same direction. This is induced magnetism. When all the domains are lined up the magnet cannot get any stronger. It is saturated. If the domains in a magnet are given energy to move they will revert back to a random arrangement. Some of the magnetism will be lost. You can destroy the magnet by heating it, dropping it or being rough with it. Magnetism induced in iron is temporary, while the magnetism induced in steel is permanent. Magnetic materials like iron which magnetize easily but do not keep their magnetism (are easily demagnetized) are said to be soft. Those like steel, which are harder to magnetize but stay magnetized, are hard. Very hard ones are used to make permanent magnets.
Properties of magnets
a) Magnetic materials
Magnets only attract strongly certain materials such as iron, nickel, cobalt, which are called ferromagnetics.
b) Magnetic poles
The poles are the places in a magnet to which magnetic materials are attracted. They are near the ends of a bar magnet and occur in pairs of equal strength.
c) North and south poles
If a magnet can swing in a horizontal plane, it comes to rest with one pole – the northseeking or N pole, always pointing roughly towards the Earth’s North Pole. A magnet can therefore be used as a compass.
d) Law of magnetic poles
Like poles repel, unlike poles attract. The force between magnetic poles decreases as their separation increases.
The space surrounding the magnet where it produces a magnetic force is called a magnetic field. Lines of force or field lines are imaginary lines that show the direction of the magnetic field. You can show the field by using iron fillings or plotting compasses.
It has been decided that the direction of the field at any point should be the direction of the force on a N pole. To show the direction, arrows are put on the lines of force and point away from the N pole towards the S pole. The field lines never cross each other and are concentrated around the poles. The closer the field lines are together, the stronger the magnet field. Where two like poles are facing each other, the point X is called a neutral point. At x the field due to one magnet cancels out that due to the other and there are no lines of force.
between magnetic north and true north is called the declination.
Oersted discovered the magnetic effect of an electric current. Around a wire carrying current there is a magnetic field. We represent this field with field lines. Arrows of the field show the direction in which the N pole points.
Field due to a straight wire
Earth’s magnetic field
If the current direction is known, the direction of the field can be predicted by the right-hand screw rule: If a right-handed screw moves forwards in the direction of the current (conventional), the direction of rotation of the screw gives the direction of the field.
Field due to a circular coil
The Earth’s geographical and magnetic north poles do not coincide. The angle
A solenoid is a long cylindrical coil. The polarity can be found by the right-hand grip rule. This states that if the fingers of the right hand grip the solenoid in the direction of the current, the thumb points
to the N pole. At the centre of the coil the field lines are straight and at right angles to the plane of the coil. The right-hand screw rule gives the direction of the field at any point.
Field due to a solenoid
The field inside a solenoid can be made very strong if it has a large number of turns or a large current. Permanent magnets can be made by allowing molten ferromagnetic materials to solidify in such fields.
The magnetism of an electromagnet is temporary and can be switched on and off. It has a core of soft iron which is magnetized only when current flows in the surrounding coil. The strength of an electromagnet increases if i) the current in the coil increases, ii) the number of turns on the coil increases, iii) the poles are moved closer together.
In C-core (horseshoe) electromagnets the coil is wound in opposite directions on each limb of the core.
When the circuit is completed, current flows in the coils of the electromagnet which becomes magnetized and attracts the soft iron armature. The hammer hits the gong but the circuit is now broken at the contact screw. The electromagnet becomes demagnetized and no longer attracts the armature. The spring then pulls the armature back, remaking contact at the screw and so completing the circuit again. This cycle is repeated as long as the bell push (switch) is depressed.
The current needed to operate a relay is called the pull-on current and the drop-off current is the smaller current in the coil when the relay just stops working.
A relay is a switch based on the principle of an electromagnet. It is useful if we want one circuit to control another. When current flows in the coil, the magnetic field produced magnetizes the reeds of magnetic material. The ends become opposite poles and one reed is attracted to the other so completing the circuit connected at its ends. The reeds separate when the current is switched off. This type of reed switch is also called reed relay.
When the current in the electronic magnet exceeds a critical value the contact points are separated and the circuit is broken.
When someone speaks into a carbon microphone sound waves cause the diaphragm to move backwards and forwards. This varies the pressure on the carbon granules. When the pressure increases the granules are squeezed closer together and their electrical resistance decreases. A decrease of pressure has the opposite effect. The current passing through the microphone varies in similar way to the sound wave variations.
The oils are wound in opposite directions on the two S poles of a magnet. If the current goes around one in clockwise direction, it goes round the other anticlockwise, so making one S pole weaker and one stronger. This causes the iron armature to rock on its pivot towards the stronger S pole. When the current reverses the armature rocks the other way. These movements are passed on the diaphragm, making it vibrate and produce sound.
A telephone contains a microphone at the speaking end and a receiver at a listening end.
a) Carbon microphone
The motor effect
A wire carrying a current in magnetic field experiences a force. If the wire can move it does so. The force increases if the current or the strength of the field increases.
The figure shows a side view of the field lines due to the wire and due to the magnet. The resultant field obtained by combining both field is also shown on the second figure. If we suppose the lines are like stretched elastic, those below will try to straighten out and in doing so will exert an upwards force on the wire.
Two carbon blocks, the brushes, are pressed lightly against the commutator by springs. The brushes are connected to an electrical supply.
Fleming’s left-hand rule
The direction of the force or thrust on the wire can be found by this rule which is also called the “motor rule”: Hold the thumb and first two fingers of the left hand at right angles to each other with the First finger pointing in the direction of the Field and the seCond finger in the direction of the Current, then the Thumb points in the direction of the Thrust (force).
Two forces acting on two sides of the coil form a couple which rotates the coil in a clockwise direction until it is vertical. The brushes are then in line with the gaps in the commutator and the current stops. However, because of its inertia, the coil overshoots the vertical and the commutator halves change contact from one brush to the other. This reverses the current through the coil and so also the direction of the forces on its sides. The coil thus carries on rotating clockwise.
Practical motors have (a) a coil of many turns wound on a soft iron core or cylinder which rotates with the coil. The coil and core together are called the armature. (b) several coils each in a slot in the core and each having a pair of commutator segments. (c) an electromagnet to produce the field in which the armature rotates.
Simple d.c. motor
A simple motor consists of a rectangular coil of wire mounted on an axle which can rotate between the poles of a C-shaped magnet. Each end of the coil is connected to half of the split ring of copper, called a commutator, which rotates with the coil.
Most electric motors used in industry are induction motors. They work off a.c. on a different principle from the d.c. motor.
Varying currents from e.g. a radio pass through a short cylindrical coil whose turns are at right angles to the magnetic field of a magnet with a central pole and a surrounding ring pole. A force acts on the coil, which makes it move in and out. A paper cone attached to the coil moves with it and sets up sound waves in the surrounding air.
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