 # CURRENT ELECTRICITY Characteristics of Current Electricity.

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CURRENT ELECTRICITY Characteristics of Current Electricity

Potential Difference aka VOLTAGE  The difference in electric potential between two points (the positive end and the negative end of a battery)  The greater the potential difference in a circuit, the greater the potential energy of each electron traveling through the circuit  Causes current to flow in a closed circuit  Can be measured using a voltmeter  Units: Volts (V)

How Electrons Transfer Energy in a Circuit  When a light switch is flipped you instantly get light because the electrons that are in the conducting wire “push” other electrons that are nearby, and they continue this motion, like a chain reaction

Electric Current aka AMPERES  Electric current measure the amount of electric charge that passes by a point in an electrical circuit each second  Can be measured using an ammeter  Units: Amperes (A)

Resistance  Resistance is how much a device/substance slows down the flow of electric current through it  Every substance resists the flow of electric current to a certain degree  When a substance resists the flow of electric current it converts the electrical energy into another form of energy, typically heat  Ex. An element on your stove, light bulb  Conductors have a low resistance, insulators have a high resistance (more resistance = less conductivity)  Can be measured using an ohmmeter  Units: Ohms ( Ω)

Resistance continued  Resistors are useful in circuits  Can control the current or voltage in a circuit because the amount of energy that the electric current has before it enters the resistor is greater than when it leaves because some of the energy is used as it PASSES THROUGH the resistor

TYPES OF CIRCUITS

Series Circuits  Electric circuit where all the parts of the circuit are put in line, one following the other  There is only one path for the electric current to travel along  At any place in the circuit the current is equal  The energy that the electric current has when it leaves the battery is completely consumed by the time it returns to the battery

Parallel Circuits  Electric circuit where the electricity has more than one path that it can follow  At any place in the circuit the potential difference is the same  The current is different in different places in the circuit, depending on the amount of resistance present (smaller resistance = greater current)