Physics of Electricity

     What is electricity? A basic definition of electricity is a form of energy that results from the flow of charged particles. Electricity being the flow of moving electrons, it should be known this produces a resultant called electrical current. This current allows objects to work in tangent with each other by flowing through conducting materials connecting them. The path that the electrons flow through is called a circuit. Circuits connect all of our electronic devices allowing us to live the way we do today.

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     "Electricity can travel through something when its structure allows electrons to move through it easily. Metals like copper have "free" electrons that are not bound tightly to their parent atoms. These electrons flow freely throughout the structure of copper and this is what enables an electric current to flow. In rubber, the electrons are more tightly bound. There are no "free" electrons and, as a result, electricity does not really flow through rubber at all. Conductors that let electricity flow freely are said to have a high conductance and a low resistance; insulators that do not allow electricity to flow are the opposite: they have a low conductance and a high resistance (Woodford, 2016)."
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     Putting it all together we can use this knowledge to see what it takes to make an electrical circuit.
  • What materials will be useful in making a circuit?
  • What is electricity and how does it transfer its energy?
  • How do circuits work?
  • What is the difference between an open and closed loop circuit?
     To illustrate the concepts behind the nature of a circuit let us consider the following situation. "Suppose that there are two metal plates oriented parallel to each other and each being charged with an opposite type of charge - one being positive and the other being negative. This arrangement of charged plates would create an electric field in the region between the plates that is directed away from the positive plate and towards the negative plate. A positive test charge placed between the plates would move away from the positive plate and towards the negative (Physics Classroom, 2016)."

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& flow of charge
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     The gif above illustrates the direction the flow would move, and how the charges would be used up over time. You can see that the positive charges are attracted towards the negative charges. The overall charge of the system would be used up over time because the circuit is not in a closed loop, so the energy isn't conserved.