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1.

2.

3.

Electric current
Electromotive force
& Potential Difference
Resistance
Part I

Chapter 14

At the end of the chapter, you should be


able to:

state that current is a rate of flow of charge and


that it is measured in amperes

recall the relationship charge = current x time

apply the relationship to new situations or to solve


related problems

Chapter 14
Pg 241

Definition: Current is a rate of flow of charge.

ConventionActual
al

Current flow
Actual
electrons flowing from
-ve to +ve terminal.
Conventional
Charges flowing from
+ve to ve terminal.

Chapter 14
Pg 241

Definition: Current is a rate of flow of charge.


The amount of charge passing thru a given pt in 1 sec.

Formula:
I=

t
Quantity
Current (I)
Charge (Q)
Time (t)

or

Q=It

SI Unit
Ampere (A)
Coulomb (C)
second (s)

_______
I

Chapter 14

Example 1:
A current of 10 A flows through an electric heater for 10
minutes. What is the total charge circulated through the
heater?
[Solution]
t = 10 min x 60 = 600 s
I = 10 A

Q =It
= 10 A x 600 s
= 6000 C
The total charge is 6000 C

_______
I

Chapter 14

Example 2:
In an electrical circuit, a charge of 60C flows past a point in
10s. What is the current in the circuit?
[Solution]
t = 10 s

Q = 60 C

Q =It
Q
I =
t
= 60 / 10
=6A

_______
I

The current is 6 A

Chapter 14

Example 3:
A lightning flash carries 25 C of charge and lasts for 0.01 s.
What is the current?
[Solution]
Q = 25 C

Q
25 C
25 / 0.01
I
Current is 2500A

t = 0.01 s

=It
= I x 0.01s
=I
= 2500A

Chapter 14

Example 4:
A current of 2 A is flowing through a conductor. How long
does it take for 10 C of charge to pass any point?
[Solution]
I=2A

Q
10C
10 / 2
t

=
=
=
=

Q = 10 C

It
2A x t
t
5s

Time taken is 5 s

Chapter 14
Pg 241

There must be a closed path in order for current


to flow.
Ammeter

+
measures the current
in a circuit
+
A
A connects in series

measures in A or mA
A

has very low


resistance

Chapter 14
Pg 243

More
common
symbols
can be
found on
pg 243

Chapter 14
Pg 243

Voltmeter

Battery

Fixed
resistor
Switch

Ammeter

Variable resistor

Bulb

Chapter 14
Pg 245

1.
2.

3.

Electric current
Electromotive force &
Potential Difference
Resistance

Part II

Chapter 14
Pg 245

At the end of the chapter, you should be


able to:

define electromotive force (e.m.f.) as


the work done by a source in driving a
unit charge around a complete circuit

state that the potential difference (p.d.)


across a circuit component is measured
in volts

Chapter 14
Pg 245

Definition:
Electromotive force is defined as the total work
done by a source in driving a unit charge
around a complete circuit
1 Unit charge = 1 coulomb of charge

Chapter 14
Pg 245

Sources of e.m.f are:


Electrical cells (i.e. batteries)
Thermocouples
Generators
etc

Hi Im Mr Coulomb (1 C)
2 J of energy is
supplied by the
cell in moving
1 C of charge round
2 J of work is done
when 1 C of
charge moves
round the circuit

2J of
energy

2J of
energy

2V

Note:
2J of electrical
energy
2J of light and
heat energy
Mr Coulomb
goes back to
the source for
energy

Chapter 14
Pg 245

Direction of current travel

Cell
-Source of energy
-Produces e.m.f
that pushes the
charges round
the circuit.

Work
done/energy
is used to
light up
the bulb.

flow of water

The pump pushes the


water to flow

Work done/
energy is used
to move the mill

Chapter 14
Pg 246

Definition:
The p.d. between two points is the energy
required to move 1 C of charge between them.
Potential Difference (p.d.) OR
SI Unit : V (volts)

Voltage (V)

Formula:
energy
E
p.d. = --------------- , V = ------ or E = VQ
charge
Q
The p.d. between 2 points is the energy
required to move 1 C of charge between
the two points.

e.g.

2V = 2 J/C

_______
V

Chapter 14
Pg 247

Voltmeter
measures the p.d. /
voltage between 2
points
connects in parallel
across 2 points
measures in V or mV
has very high
resistance

2J of
energy

2J of
energy

The diagram shows a battery with an electromotive force of


6 V in a circuit. How much energy is needed to drive 30C of
charge round the circuit?
[Solution]

6V

or

E = VQ
= 6V x 30C
= 180 J

An electrical quantity is defined by the energy


converted by a source in driving unit charge round
a complete circuit. What is this quantity called?
A. Current

B. Electromotive force

C. Potential difference

D. Power

When a current of 0.5 A flows for 10 minutes through an


electrical heater, 2400 J of energy is transformed.
(a)Calculate the total charge moving through the heater.
Q = I t = 0.5A x (10 x 60)s
= 300 C
Total charge is 300 C
(b) Calculate the potential difference across the heater.
E = VQ
2400J = V x 300C
V = 2400 / 300
=8V
The p.d. is 8 V

Chapter 14
Pg 247

1.
2.

3.

Electric current
Electromotive force &
Potential Difference
Resistance

Part III

Chapter 14
Pg 247

The resistance is a measure of


how difficult it is for an electric
current to pass through a
substance.

Chapter 14
Pg 247

Definition:
The resistance of a conductor is defined as the
ratio of the potential difference across the
conductor to the current flowing in it.
Formula:
R=

V
I

SI Unit : Ohms ()

or

V = IR
where R = resistance
V = p.d / voltage
I = current

The size of the current depends on the resistance in the circuit.

20 V

20 V
A

I = 10 A
2

20 V
I=2A

I=4A

A
10

With the same cell used


(i.e. voltage is the same),
as resistance, R increases,
decreases
current, I ____________

Chapter 14
Pg 248

Resistance resists the flow of current


Flow of current
Resistance

Resistance is low in conductors and very


high in insulators.

A 4 resistor is connected in series with an


ammeter and a 6 V battery, as shown. What is the
reading shown on the ammeter.

V=IR
6=Ix4
6/4=I
I = 1.5 A
V

_______
R

Reading on the ammeter is 1.5 A

Chapter 14
Pg 249

The resistance R (= V / I) of a metallic


conductor is CONSTANT under
steady physical conditions

For Ohmic conductors (Conductors that obeys Ohms law)


e.g. pure metal
V/V

V/V
Metal A

Metal B
I /A

I /A

For non-Ohmic conductor


e.g. filament lamp bulb
V/V

I /A

Chapter 14

an electrical component designed to reduce the flow of


current.
converts electrical energy to heat energy.
(e.g. resistors used in electric fire and filament bulb
convert electrical to heat and light energy)
represented by the symbol

Rheostat
a variable resistor that controls the size of a current in
a circuit represented by

To determine the unknown resistance, R of a fixed resistor


Pg 253

Variable
Resistor/
Rheostat

A
Fixed resistor

Procedure:
Set up the apparatus as shown above.
Adjust the variable resistor to allow the smallest possible current to flow in the circuit
Note the corresponding ammeter reading (I)and the voltmeter reading (V)
Adjust the variable resistor in steps to increase current flow in the circuit and
note the values of I and V for at least five sets of readings.
Plot a graph of V against I. The graph plotted must be a best straight line passing
through the origin.
The gradient of the best straight line obtained gives the resistance of the resistor, R.

Chapter 14
Pg 253

The unknown resistance of the resistor is found by obtaining


the gradient of the straight line graph.
V/V

I /A
Precaution :
To prevent a rise in the temperature of the resistor, which may change its resistance,
open the circuit between readings
use small amount of current

Besides physical conditions (e.g. temperature),


the resistance R of a given conductor also
depends on:
its length l
its cross-sectional area A
the type of material

Formula:

l
R
A

where

R = resistance
= resistivity
l = length
A = cross-sectional

area

Simulation from Crocodile Physics