# Circuits. Electric Current & DC Circuits Circuits. Unit 6. April Electric Current. Electric Current. Electric Current. ΔQ Δt

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1 Electric Current & DC Circuits Electric Current & DC Circuits Circuits Conductors esistivity and esistance Click on the topic to go to that section Circuit Diagrams Measurement Electric Current Circuits Electric Current is the rate of flow of electric charges (charge carriers) through space. More specifically, it is defined as the amount of charge that flows past a location in a material per unit time. The letter "I" is the symbol for current. ΔQ I = Δt ΔQ is the amount of charge, and Δt is the time it flowed past the location. eturn to Table of Contents The current depends on the type of material and the Electric Potential difference (voltage) across it. Electric Current Electric Current A good analogy to help understand Electric Current is to consider water flow. The flow of water molecules is similar to the flow of electrons (the charge carriers) in a wire. The current, ΔQ I = Δt has the units Coulombs per second. Water flow depends on the pressure exerted on the molecules either by a pump or by a height difference, such as water falling off a cliff. Electric current depends on the "pressure" exerted by the Electric Potential difference - the greater the Electric Potential difference, the greater the Electric Current. The units can be rewritten as Amperes (A). Amperes are often called "amps". 1 A = 1 C/s 1

2 Electric Current Electric Current We know that if an Electric Potential difference is applied to a wire, charges will flow from high to low potential - a current. However, due to a convention set by Benjamin Franklin, current in a wire is defined as the movement of positive charges (not the electrons which are really moving) and is called "conventional current." Ben didn't do this to confuse future generations of electrical engineers and students. It was already known that electrical phenomena came in two flavors - attractive and repulsive - Ben was the person who explained them as distinct positive and negative charges. He arbitrarily assigned a positive charge to a glass rod that had been rubbed with silk. He could just as easily called it negative - 50/50 chance. The glass rod was later found to have a shortage of electrons (they were transferred to the silk). So if the glass rod is grounded, the electrons will flow from the ground to the rod. The problem comes in how Electric Potential is defined - charge carriers will be driven from high to low potential - from positive to negative. For this to occur in the glass rod - ground system, the conventional current will flow from the rod to the ground - opposite the direction of the movement of electrons. Electric Current To summarize - conventional Electric Current is defined as the movement of positive charge. In wires, it is opposite to the direction of the electron movement. However - in the case of a particle accelerator, where electrons are stripped off of an atom, resulting in a positively charged ion, which is then accelerated to strike a target - the direction of the conventional current is the same as the direction of the positive ions! An electric circuit is an external path that charges can follow between two terminals using a conducting material. For charge to flow, the path must be complete and unbroken. Circuits An example of a conductor used to form a circuit is copper wire. Continuing the water analogy, one can think of a wire as a pipe for charge to move through C of charge passes a location in a circuit in 10 seconds. What is the current flowing past the point? 2 20 C of charge passes a location in a circuit in 30 seconds. What is the current flowing past the point? 2

3 3 A circuit has 3 A of current. How long does it take 45 C of charge to travel through the circuit? 4 A circuit has 10 A of current. How long does it take 20 C of charge to travel through the circuit? 5 A circuit has 10 A of current. How much charge travels through the circuit after 20s? 6 A circuit has 2.5 A of current. How much charge travels through the circuit after 4s? Each battery has two terminals which are conductors. The terminals are used to connect an external circuit allowing the movement of charge. Batteries convert chemical energy to electrical energy which maintains the potential difference. The chemical reaction acts like an escalator, carrying charge up to a higher voltage. Batteries Click here for a Battery oltage Simulation from PhET Positive Terminal Negative Terminal eviewing Basic Circuits The circuit cannot have gaps. The bulb had to be between the wire and the terminal. A voltage difference is needed to make the bulb light. The bulb still lights regardless of which side of the battery you place it on. As you watch the video,observations and the answers to the questions below. What is going on in the circuit? What is the role of the battery? How are the circuits similar? different? Click here for video using the circuit simulator from PhET 3

4 Batteries and Current The battery pushes current through the circuit. A battery acts like a pump, pushing charge through the circuit. It is the circuit's energy source. Charges do not experience an electrical force unless there is a difference in electrical potential (voltage).therefore, batteries have a potential difference between their terminals. The positive terminal is at a higher voltage than the negative terminal. Conductors click here for a video from eritasium's Derek on current How will voltage affect current? eturn to Table of Contents Conductors Some conductors "conduct" better or worse than others. eminder: conducting means a material allows for the free flow of electrons. The flow of electrons is just another name for current. Another way to look at it is that some conductors resist current to a greater or lesser extent. We call this resistance,. esistance is measured in ohms which is noted by the Greek symbol omega (Ω) Current vs esistance & oltage aising resistance reduces current. aising voltage increases current. We can combine these relationships in what we call "Ohm's Law". I = Another way to write this is that: = I O = I How will resistance affect current? Click here to run another PhET simulation You can see that one Ω = A click here for a eritasium music video on electricity 7 A flashlight has a resistance of 25 Ω and is connected by a wire to a 120 source of voltage. What is the current in the flashlight? 8 A flashlight has a resistance of 30 Ω and is connected by a wire to a 90 source of voltage. What is the current in the flashlight? 4

5 9 What is the current in a wire whose resistance is 3 Ω if 1.5 is applied to it? 10 How much voltage is needed in order to produce a 0.70 A current through a 490 Ω resistor? 11 How much voltage is needed in order to produce a 0.5 A current through a 150 Ω resistor? 12 What is the resistance of a rheostat coil, if 0.05 A of current flows through it when 6 is applied across it? 13 What is the resistance of a rheostat coil, if 20 A of current flows through it when 1000 is applied across it? Electrical Power Power is defined as work per unit time P = W t if W = Q then substitute: P = Q t if I = Q t then substitute: P = I What happens if the current is increased? What happens if the voltage is decreased? 5

6 Electrical Power Electrical Power Let's think about this another way... The water at the top has GPE & KE. As the water falls, it loses GPE and the wheel gets turned, doing work.when the water falls to the bottom it is now slower, having done work. Electric circuits are similar. A charge falls from high voltage to low voltage. In the process of falling energy may be used (light bulb, run a motor, etc). What is the unit of Power? Electrical Power How can we re-write electrical power by using Ohm's Law? (electrical power) P = I P = P = 2 (Ohm's Law) I = Is there yet another way to rewrite this? (electrical power) P = I Electrical Power I = can be rewritten as = I. P = I(I) P = I 2 (Ohm's Law) = I We can substitute this into Power Batteries D, C, AA, & AAA have the same voltage, however they differ in the amount of power they deliver. 14 A toy car's electric motor has a resistance of 17 Ω; find the power delivered to it by a 6- battery. D C AAA AA 9 For instance, D batteries can deliver more current and therefore more power

7 15 A toy car's electric motor has a resistance of 6 Ω; find the power delivered to it by a 7- battery. 16 What is the power consumption of a flash light bulb that draws a current of 0.28 A when connected to a 6 battery? 17 What is the power consumption of a flash light bulb that draws a current of 0.33 A when connected to a 100 battery? 18 A 30Ω toaster consumes 560 W of power: how much current is flowing through the toaster? 19 A 50Ω toaster consumes 200 W of power: how much current is flowing through the toaster? 20 When 30 is applied across a resistor it generates 600 W of heat: what is the magnitude of its resistance? 7

8 "Pipe" size 21 When 100 is applied across a resistor it generates 200 W of heat: what is the magnitude of its resistance? How could the wire in the circuit affect the current? If wire is like a pipe, and current is like water that flows through the pipe... if there were pipes with water in them, what could we do to the pipes to change the speed of the water (the current)? Circuit Diagrams Circuit Diagrams Drawing realistic pictures of circuits can be very difficult. For this reason, we have common symbols to represent each piece. eturn to Table of Contents esistor Battery Wire *Note: Circuit diagrams do not show where each part is physically located. Circuit Diagrams Draw a simple circuit that has a 9 battery with a 3 Ω resistor across its terminals. What is the magnitude and direction of the current? Circuit Diagrams There are two ways to add a second resistor to the circuit. Series Parallel Conventional current flows from the positive terminal to the negative terminal. All charges must move through both resistors to get to the negative terminal. Charges pass through either or but not both. 8

9 Circuit Diagrams Are the following sets of resistors in series or parallel? Equivalent esistance esistors and voltage from batteries determine the current. Circuits can be redrawn as if there were only a single resistor and battery.by reducing the circuit this way, the circuit becomes easier to study. The process of reducing the resistors in a circuit is called finding the equivalent resistance ( eq). Series Circuits: Equivalent esistance Series Circuits: Equivalent esistance What happens to the current in the circuit to the right? What happens to the voltage as it moves around the circuit? Series Circuits: Equivalent esistance 22 What is the equivalent resistance in this circuit? If = substitute Ohm's Law solved for is: = I I = I1 + I2 + I33 but since current (I) is the same everywhere in a series circuit, = 5Ω 2 I = I + I + I3 I = I1 = I2 = I3 eq = Now divide by I = 9 To find the equivalent resistance ( eq) of a series circuit, add the resistance of all the resistors.if you add more resistors to a series circuit, what happens to the resistance? 9

10 23 What is the total current at any spot in the circuit? 24 What is the voltage drop across? = 5Ω = 5Ω = 9 = 9 25 What is the voltage drop across? 26 How much power is used by? = 5Ω = 5Ω = 9 = 9 hint: A good way to check your work is to see if the voltage drop across all resistors equals the total voltage in the circuit. 27 What is the equivalent resistance in this circuit? 28 What is the total current at any spot in the circuit? = 10Ω = 20Ω = 10Ω = 20Ω = 9 = 9 10

11 29 What is the voltage drop across? 30 What is the voltage drop across? = 10Ω = 20Ω = 10Ω = 20Ω = 9 = 9 31 How much power is used by? 32 How much power is used by? = 10Ω = 20Ω = 10Ω = 20Ω = 9 = 9 Parallel Circuits: Equivalent esistance Parallel Circuits: Equivalent esistance What happens to the current in the circuit to the right? What happens to the voltage as it moves around the circuit? 11

12 Parallel Circuits: Equivalent esistance If I = I1 + I2 + I3 ewrite Ohm's Law for I and substitute for each resistor 33 What is the equivalent resistance in the circuit? = Also, since = 1 = 2 = 3 so we can substitute for any other voltage = 3Ω = = ( = + eq ( oltage is a common factor, so factor it out! Divide by to eliminate voltage from the equation. = 18 = 6Ω If you add more resistors in parallel, what will happen to the resistance of the circuit? 34 What is the voltage at any spot in the circuit? 35 What is the current through? = 6Ω = 6Ω = 18 = What is the current through? 37 What is the power used by? = 6Ω = 6Ω = 18 = 18 12

13 38 What is the power used by? 39 What is the equivalent resistance in the circuit? = 6Ω = What is the voltage at any spot in the circuit? 41 What is the current through? 42 What is the current through? 43 What is the power used by? 13

14 Unit 6 45 What is the power used by? 44 What is the power used by? oltmeter oltage is measured with a voltmeter. oltmeters are connected in parallel and measure the difference in potential between two points. Measurement Since circuits in parallel have the same voltage, and a voltmeter has very high resistance, very little current passes through it. eturn to Table of Contents Ammeter Current is measured using an ammeter. Ammeters are placed in series with a circuit. In order to not interfere with the current, the ammeter has a very low resistance. This means that it has little effect on the circuit. Multimeter Although there are separate items to measure current and voltage, there are devices that can measure both (one at a time). These devices are called multimeters.multimeters can also measure resistance. Click here for a PhET simulation on circuits 14

15 46 A group of students prepare an experiment with electric circuits. Which of the following diagrams can be used to measure both current and voltage? L A C B D E 15

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