Electric Current. Chapter 17. Electric Current, cont QUICK QUIZ Current and Resistance. Sections: 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9

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1 Electric Current Chapter 17 Current and Resistance Sections: 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9 Whenever electric charges of like signs move, an electric current is said to exist The current is the rate at which the charge flows through this surface Look at the charges flowing perpendicularly to a surface of area A The SI unit of current is Ampere (A) 1 A = 1 C/s Electric Current, cont The direction of current flow is the direction positive charge would flow This is known as conventional current flow In a common conductor, such as copper, the current is due to the motion of the negatively charged electrons It is common to refer to a moving charge as a mobile charge carrier A charge carrier can be positive or negative QUICK QUIZ 17.1 Consider positive and negative charges moving horizontally through the four regions in Figure Rank the currents in these four regions, from lowest to highest.

2 QUICK QUIZ 17.1 ANSWER d, b = c, a. The current in (d) is equivalent to two positive charges moving to the left. Parts (b) and (c) each represent four charges moving in the same direction because negative charges moving to the left are equivalent to positive charges moving to the right. The current in (a) is equivalent to five positive charges moving to the right. Charge Carrier Motion in a Conductor The zig-zag black line represents the motion of charge carrier in a conductor The net drift speed is small The sharp changes in direction are due to collisions The net motion of electrons is opposite the direction of the electric field Electrons in a Circuit The drift speed is much smaller than the average speed between collisions When a circuit is completed, the electric field travels with a speed close to the speed of light Although the drift speed is on the order of 10-4 m/s the effect of the electric field is felt on the order of 10 8 m/s Meters in a Circuit -- Ammeter An ammeter is used to measure current In line with the bulb, all the charge passing through the bulb also must pass through the meter

3 Meters in a Circuit -- Voltmeter QUICK QUIZ 17.2 Look at the four circuits shown below and select those that will light the bulb. A voltmeter is used to measure voltage (potential difference) Connects to the two ends of the bulb QUICK QUIZ 17.2 ANSWER (c), (d). Neither circuit (a) nor circuit (b) applies a difference in potential across the bulb. Circuit (a) has both lead wires connected to the same battery terminal. Circuit (b) has a low resistance path (a short ) between the two battery terminals as well as between the bulb terminals. Resistance In a conductor, the voltage applied across the ends of the conductor is proportional to the current through the conductor The constant of proportionality is the resistance of the conductor R = V I

4 Resistance, cont Units of resistance are ohms (Ω) 1 Ω = 1 V / A Resistance in a circuit arises due to collisions between the electrons carrying the current with the fixed atoms inside the conductor Ohm s Law Experiments show that for many materials, including most metals, the resistance remains constant over a wide range of applied voltages or currents This statement has become known as Ohm s Law V = I R Ohm s Law is an empirical relationship that is valid only for certain materials Materials that obey Ohm s Law are said to be ohmic An ohmic device The resistance is constant over a wide range of voltages The relationship between current and voltage is linear The slope is related to the resistance Ohm s Law, cont Ohm s Law, final Non-ohmic materials are those whose resistance changes with voltage or current The current-voltage relationship is nonlinear A diode is a common example of a non-ohmic device

5 QUICK QUIZ 17.3 In the figure below, does the resistance of the diode (a) increase or (b) decrease as the positive voltage V increases? QUICK QUIZ 17.3 ANSWER (b). The slope of the line tangent to the curve at a point is the reciprocal of the resistance at that point. Note that as V increases, the slope (and hence 1/R) increases. Thus, the resistance decreases. Resistivity The resistance of an ohmic conductor is proportional to its length, L, and inversely proportional to its cross-sectional area, A L R = ρ A ρ is the constant of proportionality and is called the resistivity of the material See table 17.1 QUICK QUIZ 17.5 A voltage V is applied across the ends of a nichrome heater wire having a crosssectional area A and length L. The same voltage is applied across the ends of a second heater wire having a crosssectional area A and length 2L. Which wire gets hotter? (a) the shorter wire, (b) the longer wire, or (c) not enough information to say.

6 QUICK QUIZ 17.5 ANSWER (a). The resistance of the shorter wire is half that of the longer wire. The power dissipated, P = ( V) 2 /R, (and hence the rate of heating) will be greater for the shorter wire. Consideration of the expression P = I 2 R might initially lead one to think that the reverse would be true. However, one must realize that the currents will not be the same in the two wires. Temperature Variation of Resistivity For most metals, resistivity increases with increasing temperature With a higher temperature, the metal s constituent atoms vibrate with increasing amplitude The electrons find it more difficult to pass the atoms Temperature Variation of Resistivity, cont For most metals, resistivity increases approximately linearly with temperature over a limited temperature range ρ = ρ o[ o 1+ α(t T )] ρ o is the resistivity at some reference temperature T o T o is usually taken to be 20 C α is the temperature coefficient of resistivity Temperature Variation of Resistance Since the resistance of a conductor with uniform cross sectional area is proportional to the resistivity, you can find the effect of temperature on resistance R = R [1+ α(t T )] o o

7 Electrical Energy and Power In a circuit, as a charge moves through the battery, the electrical potential energy of the system is increased by Q V The chemical potential energy of the battery decreases by the same amount As the charge moves through a resistor, it loses this potential energy during collisions with atoms in the resistor The temperature of the resistor will increase Fig. 17.T1, p.538 Electrical Energy and Power, cont The rate at which the energy is lost is the power Q P = V = I V t From Ohm s Law, alternate forms of power are 2 2 ( V) P = I R = R Electrical Energy and Power, final The SI unit of power is Watt (W) I must be in Amperes, R in ohms and V in Volts The unit of energy used by electric companies is the kilowatt-hour This is defined in terms of the unit of power and the amount of time it is supplied 1 kwh = 3.60 x 10 6 J

8 QUICK QUIZ 17.6 For the two resistors shown here, rank the currents at points a through f, from largest to smallest. QUICK QUIZ 17.6 ANSWER I a = I b > I c = I d > I e = I f. Charges constituting the current I a leave the positive terminal of the battery and then split to flow through the two bulbs; thus, I a = I c + I e. Because the potential difference V is the same across the two bulbs and because the power delivered to a device is P = I( V), the 60 W bulb with the higher power rating must carry the greater current. Because charge does not accumulate in the bulbs, all the charge flowing into a bulb from the left has to flow out on the right; consequently I c = I d and I e = I f. The two currents leaving the bulbs recombine to form the current back into the battery, I f + I d = I b. QUICK QUIZ 17.7 Two resistors, A and B, are connected across the same potential difference. The resistance of A is twice that of B. (a) Which resistor dissipates more power? (b) Which carries the greater current? QUICK QUIZ 17.7 ANSWER B, B. Because the voltage across each resistor is the same, and the rate of energy delivered to a resistor is P = ( V) 2 /R, the resistor with the lower resistance exhibits the higher rate of energy transfer. In this case, the resistance of B is smaller than that for A and thus B dissipates more power. Furthermore, because P = I( V), the current carried by B is larger than that of A.

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