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All of us agree the importance of electricity in our

daily lives.

But what is electricity?

Electric Charge and Electrical Forces:



have a negative electrical charge.

have a positive electrical charge.

charges interact to create an electrical


charges produce repulsive forces so

they repel each other (e.g. electron and
electron or proton and proton repel each other).


charges produce attractive forces so

they attract each other (e.g. electron and
proton attract each other).

Electrostatic Charge:

Electrons move from atom to atom to create ions.

positively charge ions result from the loss of electrons
and are called cations.
Negatively charge ions result from the gain of electrons
and are called anions.

The charge on an ion is called an electrostatic charge.

An object becomes electrostatically charged by

Friction,which transfers electrons between two objects
in contact,
Contact with a charged body which results in the
transfer of electrons,
Induction which produces a charge redistribution of
electrons in a material.

Arbitrary numbers of
protons (+) and
electrons (-) on a
comb and in hair
(A) before and
(B) after combing.

Combing transfers
electrons from the
hair to the comb by
friction, resulting in
a negative charge
on the comb and a
positive charge on
the hair.


Electrical Conductors and Insulators:


conductors are materials that allows

free movement of electrons inside
Metals are good conductors of electricity. Silver is
the best electrical conductor.


nonconductors (insulators) are

materials that do not allow movement of electrons
Examples are wood, rubber etc.


are materials whose conductivity

lies in between those of conductors and insulators.
Examples are silicon, arsenic, germanium.

Measuring Electrical Charges:

The fundamental charge is the electrical charge on

an electron and has a magnitude of 1.6021892 X 1019 C

The electrical charge (q) is a discrete quantity and

it is always measured as
where e is the fundamental charge.

Conservation of charge is a fundamental principle

which states that charge can neither be created or

destroyed but can only move from one atom to

Coulombs law:
Electrical force is directly proportional to the
product of the electrical charges and inversely
proportional to the square of the distance. This is
known as Coulombs law.
q1 q 2

F k

F is the electrical force,
k is a constant and has the value of 9.00 x 109
Newtonmeters2/coulomb2 (9.00 x 10 9 Nm2/C2),
q1 represents the electrical charge of object 1 and q2
represents the electrical charge of object 2, and
d is the distance between the two objects.
Electrical force is a VECTOR quantity and is directed along
the line of action

Force Fields:
The configuration of space around an object is

changed by the presence of an electrical charge.

The electrical charge produces a force field,

called as electrical field

Coulombs Law:
| F | = k | Q q o | / r2
| F | = | qo [k Q/r2] |
Gives us:
F = qo E
where the electric field E is:


k Q / r2

A map of the electrical field can be created by

bringing a positive test charge into an electrical field.


brought near a negative charge the test

charge is attracted to the unlike charge and
when brought near a positive charge the test
charge is repelled.


can draw vector arrows to indicate the direction

of the electrical field.


is represented by drawing lines of force or

electrical field lines,
These lines are closer together when the field is
stronger and farther apart when it is weaker.

A positive test
charge is used by
convention to
identify the
properties of an
electric field. The
vector arrow points
in the direction of
the force that the
test charge would

Electric Lines of force

diagram for (A) a negative
charge and (B) a positive
charge when the charges
have the same magnitude as
the test charge.

Electrical Potential:
An electrical charge has an electrical field that
surrounds it.
In order to move a second charge through this field
work must be done.
Bringing a like charge particle into this field will
require work since like charges repel each other and
bringing an opposite charged particle into the field
will require work to keep the charges separated.
In both of these cases the electrical potential is

The potential difference (PD) that is created by

doing 1.00 joule of work in moving 1.00 coulomb of

charge is defined as 1.00 volt.
A volt is a measure of the potential difference
between two points,
electric potential =
work done,
The voltage of an electrical charge is the energy
transfer per coulomb.
The energy transfer can be measured by the work
that is done to move the charge or by the work that
the charge can do because of the position of the field.

Electric current means the flow of charges which is

analogous to water flow

It is the charge that flows, and the current is defined
as the flow of the charge.
An electrical circuit contains some device that acts as a

source of energy as it gives charges a higher potential

against an electrical field.

charges do work as they flow through the circuit to a

lower potential.
The charges flow through connecting wires to make a
continuous path.
A switch is a means of interrupting or completing the
The source of the electrical potential is the voltage


A simple electric circuit has a voltage source (such as

a generator or battery) that maintains the electrical
potential, some device (such as a lamp or motor ) where
work is done by the potential, and continuous pathways for
the current to flow.

Voltage is a measure of the potential difference

between two places in a circuit.

Voltage is measured in joules/coloumb.
The rate at which an electrical current (I) flows is the

charge (q) that moves through a cross section of a

conductor in a give unit of time (t),
I = q/t.

units of current are coulombs/second.

A coulomb/second is an ampere (amp).

What is the nature of the electric current carried by

these conducting lines?
It is an electric field that moves at near the speed of light.
The field causes a net motion of electrons that constitutes
a flow of charge, a current.

(A) A metal conductor

without a current has
immovable positive ions
surrounded by a swarm
of randomly moving
(B) An electric field
causes the electrons to
shift positions, creating a
separation charge as the
electrons move with a
zigzag motion from
collisions with stationary
positive ions and other

Electrical Resistance:
Electrical resistance is the resistance to movement of

electrons being accelerated with an energy loss.

Materials have the property of reducing a current and that
is electrical resistance (R).
Resistance is a ratio between the potential difference (V)
between two points and the resulting current (I).
R = V/I
The ratio of volts/amp is called an ohm ().
The relationship between voltage, current, and resistance
V =I R
This is known as Ohms Law.
The magnitude of the electrical resistance of a

conductor depends on four variables:

The length of the conductor.
The cross-sectional area of the conductor.
The material the conductor is made of.
The temperature of the conductor.

Resistors in Series
Resistors can be connected in series; that is, the

current flows through them one after another. The

circuit here shows three resistors connected in
series, and the direction of current is indicated by
the arrow.

Note that since there is only one path for the

current to travel, the current through each of the

resistors is the same.
I1= I2 = I3
Also, the voltage drops across the resistors must

add up to the total voltage supplied by the battery:

V total = V1+V2+V3
R equivalent = R1 + R2 + R3

Resistors in Parallel
Resistors can be connected such that they branch out

from a single point (known as a node), and join up again

somewhere else in the circuit. This is known as a
parallel connection. Each of the three resistors in the
figure below is another path for current to travel
between points A and B.

At A the potential must be the same for each

resistor. Similarly, at B the potential must also be

the same for each resistor.
So, between points A and B, the potential
difference is the same. That is, each of the three
resistors in the parallel circuit must have the same
V1 =V2 = V3
Also, the current splits as it travels from A to B. So,
the sum of the currents through the three branches
is the same as the current at A and at B (where the
currents from the branch reunite).
I = I1 +I2 + I3

Electrical Power and Electrical Work:

All electrical circuits have three parts in common.

voltage source.
An electrical device
Conducting wires.
The work done (W) by a voltage source is equal to the

work done by the electrical field in an electrical device,

Work = Power x Time.
The electrical potential is measured in joules/coulomb
and a quantity of charge is measured in coulombs, so
the electrical work is measure in joules.
A joule/second is a unit of power called the watt.
Power = current x potential
Or, P = I V

This meter measures the amount of electric work

done in the circuits, usually over a time period of a month.
The work is measured in kWhr.


All of us are familiar with magnets. In a magnet we

have magnetic poles the north and the south
A North seeking pole is called the North Pole.
A South seeking pole is called the South Pole.

Like magnetic poles repel and unlike magnetic

poles attract.

Every magnet has ends, or poles, about which the

magnetic properties seem to be concentrated. As this
photo shows, more iron filings are attracted to the poles,
revealing their location.

Magnetic Fields:
A magnet that is moved in space near a second

magnet experiences a magnetic field.


magnetic field can be represented by

field lines.

The strength of the magnetic field is greater where

the lines are closer together and weaker where

they are farther apart.

These lines are a map of the magnetic field around a

bar magnet. The needle of a magnetic compass will follow
the lines, with the north end showing the direction of the

The Source of Magnetic Fields:

Permanent Magnets:

electrons produce magnetic fields.


most materials these magnetic fields cancel one

another and neutralize the overall magnetic effect.


other materials such as iron, cobalt, and

nickel, the atoms behave as tiny magnets
because of certain orientations of the electrons
inside the atom.

atoms are grouped in a tiny region called

the magnetic domain.

Our Earth is a big magnet.


Earths magnetic field is thought to originate

with moving charges.


core is probably composed of iron and nickel,

which flows as the Earth rotates, creating electrical
currents that result in the Earths magnetic field.

The earth's magnetic field.

Note that the magnetic
north pole and the
geographic North Pole are
not in the same place.
Note also that the magnetic
north pole acts as if the
south pole of a huge bar
magnet were inside the
earth. You know that it must
be a magnetic south pole
since the north end of a
magnetic compass is
attracted to it and opposite
poles attract.

A bar magnet cut into halves always makes new,

complete magnets with both a north and a south pole. The
poles always come in pairs. You can not separate a pair
into single poles.

Electric Currents

Oersted discovered that a

compass needle below a wire
(A) pointed north when
there was not a current,
(B) moved at right angles
when a current flowed one
way, and
(C) moved at right angles
in the opposite direction
when the current was

(A) In a piece of iron, the magnetic domains have random

arrangement that cancels any overall magnetic effect
(not magnetic).
(B) When an external magnetic field is applied to the iron,
the magnetic domains are realigned, and those parallel to
the field grow in size at the expense of the other domains,
and the iron becomes magnetized.

A magnetic
shows the
presence and
direction of the
magnetic field
around a
straight length
of currentcarrying wire.

When a current is run

through a cylindrical coil
of wire, a solenoid, it
produces a magnetic field
like the magnetic field of a
bar magnet. The solenoid
is known as

Applications of Electromagnets:
Electric Meters:

strength of the magnetic field produced by

an electromagnet is proportional to the electric
current in the electromagnet.

galvanometer measures electrical current by

measuring the magnetic field.

galvanometer can measure current, potential

difference, and resistance.

A galvanometer measures the direction and

relative strength of an electric current from the
magnetic field it produces. A coil of wire wrapped
around an iron core becomes an electromagnet that
rotates in the field of a permanent magnet. The rotation
moves pointer on a scale.

Electric Motors:

electrical motor is an electromagnetic device

that converts electrical energy into mechanical

motor has two working parts - a stationary

magnet called a field magnet and a cylindrical,
movable electromagnet called an armature.


armature is on an axle and rotates in the

magnetic field of the field magnet.


axle is used to do work.

Electromagnetic Induction

Induced Current:
If a loop of wire is moved in a magnetic field a
voltage is induced in the wire.
The voltage is called an induced voltage and the
resulting current is called an induced current.
The induction is called electromagnetic

A current is induced in a
coil of wire moved
through a magnetic field.
The direction of the
current depends on the

The magnitude of the induced voltage is

proportional to:

number of wire loops cutting across the

magnetic field lines.


strength of the magnetic field.


rate at which magnetic field lines are cut

by the wire.

DC and AC Generators,
Transformers (step-up and step-down).

Electric currents
magnetic fields.

Charges moving
in a magnetic field
experience an
electromagnetic force.

A changing magnetic field

creates an electric field.

Induced electric currents

act so as to oppose the
motion that caused them.