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Electricity

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**Unit 5: Electricity Chapter 12: Electric Circuits**

12.2 Current and Voltage 12.3 Resistance and Ohm's Law

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**12.1 Investigation: Measuring Voltage and Current**

Key Question: How do you measure voltage and current in electric circuits? Objectives: Build simple circuits and draw circuit diagrams. Measure current and voltage in a battery. Identify electrical conductors and insulators.

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Electric current Electric current is similar in some ways to a current of water. Like electric current, water current can carry energy and do work. A waterwheel turns when a current of water exerts a force on it.

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Electric Circuits An electric circuit is a complete path through which electric current travels. A good example of a circuit is the one found in an electric toaster.

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Electric Circuits Wires in electric circuits are similar in some ways to pipes and hoses that carry water.

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Natural circuits These are some examples of natural electrical circuits: The nerves in your body form an electrical circuit that carries messages from your brain to your muscles and other parts of the body. The tail of an electric eel makes a circuit when it stuns its prey with a jolt of electricity. An electric circuit with a large amount of energy is formed when lightning carries electric current between clouds and the ground.

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Electric Circuits When drawing a circuit diagram, symbols are used to represent each part of the circuit.

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Electric Circuits Electrical symbols are quicker and easier to draw than realistic pictures of the components.

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**Electric current Electric current is caused by moving electric charge.**

Electric current comes from the motion of electrons. current

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Resistors A resistor is an electrical device that uses the energy carried by electric current in a specific way. Any electrical device that uses energy can be shown with a resistor symbol.

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Current in a circuit Current only flows when there is a complete and unbroken path, or a closed circuit. Flipping a switch to the “off” position creates an open circuit by making a break in the wire.

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**Unit 5: Electricity Chapter 12: Electric Circuits**

12.2 Current and Voltage 12.3 Resistance and Ohm's Law

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**12.2 Investigation: Resistance and Ohm's Law**

Key Questions: What is the relationship between current, voltage and resistance? Objectives: Measure resistance in a circuit. Use Ohm’s law to identify the mystery resistor in a circuit. Investigate the relationship between voltage drop across the potentiometer and voltage drop across the bulb in a circuit.

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Current and voltage Electric current is measured in units called amperes, or amps (A) for short. One amp is a flow of a certain quantity of electricity in one second. The amount of electric current entering a circuit always equals the amount exiting the circuit.

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Voltage Voltage is a measure of electric potential energy, just like height is a measure of gravitational potential energy. Voltage is measured in volts (V). A voltage difference of 1 volt means 1 amp of current does 1 joule of work in 1 second.

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Voltage A difference in voltage provides the energy that causes current to flow.

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**Voltage A useful meter is a multimeter, which**

can measure voltage or current, and sometimes resistance. To measure voltage, the meter’s probes are touched to two places in a circuit or across a battery.

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Batteries A battery uses stored chemical energy to create the voltage difference. Three 1.5-volt batteries can be stacked to make a total voltage of 4.5 volts in a flashlight.

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Batteries A pump is like a battery because it brings water from a position of low energy to high energy.

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Measuring current If you want to measure current you must force the current to pass through the meter. Multimeters can measure two types of current: alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC).

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Fuses and current The meter used with your electric circuit investigations has a fuse inside. The meter can be damaged or the fuse blown, if too much current passes through it.

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Protecting circuits Circuit breakers and fuses are two kinds of devices that protect circuits from too much current by making a break that stops the current.

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**Unit 5: Electricity Chapter 12: Electric Circuits**

12.2 Current and Voltage 12.3 Resistance and Ohm's Law

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**12.3 Investigation: Building an Electric Circuit Game**

Key Questions: How can you use electricity to test your manual dexterity? Objectives: Apply their knowledge of electric circuits to build a game. Analyze the construction of the game in terms of electrical conductivity. Consider the effects of varying the construction of the electric circuits game.

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Resistance Resistance is the measure of how strongly an object resists current flowing through it. The relationship between electric current and resistance can be compared with water flowing from the open end of a bottle.

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Resistance The total amount of resistance in a circuit determines the amount of current in the circuit for a given voltage.

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**Resistance Electrical resistance is measured in units called ohms.**

This unit is abbreviated with the Greek letter omega (Ω).

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**Ohm’s Law The current in a circuit depends on voltage and resistance.**

Ohm’s law relates current, voltage, and resistance with one formula. If you know two of the three quantities, you can use Ohm’s law to find the third.

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**Looking for: …the current in amps **

Calculating current A toaster has a resistance of 12 ohms and is plugged into a 120-volt outlet. How much current in amps does it use? Looking for: …the current in amps Given: …resistance (12 Ω ) and voltage (120 V) Relationships: Use: I = V ÷ R Solution: I = 120 V ÷ 12 = 10 A

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**Resistance of common objects**

Every electrical device is designed with a resistor that causes the right amount of current to flow when the device is connected to voltage.

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**Resistance of common objects**

The resistance of many electrical devices varies with temperature and current. A light bulb’s resistance increases when there is more current because the bulb gets hotter when more current passes through it.

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You are Wired! Your nervous system uses specialized cells called neurons to transfer electrical signals from one part of your body to another. A neuron has three basic parts: the cell body; a long, thin portion called the axon; and fingerlike projections called dendrites.

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