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Preliminary Physics Topic 2

ELECTRICAL ENERGY in the HOME

What is this topic about?


To keep it as simple as possible, (K.I.S.S.) this topic involves the study of:
1. SOCIETY NEEDS ELECTRICITY
2. ELECTRIC FIELDS & CURRENTS
3. ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS... SERIES & PARALLEL
4. ELECTRICAL POWER & ENERGY
5. MAGNETIC EFFECTS OF ELECTRICITY
6. ELECTRICAL SAFETY in the home

but first, lets revise...


WHAT IS ELECTRICITY?

STATIC ELECTRICITY (Static = not moving)


If different materials are rubbed together, friction can often
remove electrons from one and deposit them on the other.
The result is that each substance is left with an electric charge.

To answer that, you need to be reminded about atoms:


Structure
of an
ATOM

Charged objects can attract or repel each each other and


cause all sorts of weird things to happen.

electron (-)

Nucleus contains
PROTONS (+) and
NEUTRONS (0)

Photo courtesy of
HeyBannerBanner.com

An atom consists of a central nucleus in which are:


Protons (+ve) & Neutrons (neutral).
In orbit around the nucleus are tiny Electrons(-ve).
Both protons and electrons have a property we call
Electric Charge, which is responsible for all the things
we know as Electricity and Magnetism.

CURRENT ELECTRICITY

There are 2 opposite types of charge which we simply call


positive (+ve) and negative (-ve).

(Currentmeans moving or flowing)


Electrons can also flow through Conductors, such as
metal wires.

Normally, every atom has exactly the same number of


protons and electrons, and therefore the same amount of
(+ve) and (-ve) electric charge.

However, it is relatively easy to


separate electrons from atoms,

and then things


get interesting...

Photo:
Andy King

and thats when


electricity gets
very useful...

Perspex rod

e-

Preliminary Physics Topic 2


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Wool cloth

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CONCEPT DIAGRAM (Mind Map) OF TOPIC


Some students find that memorizing the OUTLINE of a topic helps them learn and remember the concepts and
important facts. As you proceed through the topic, come back to this page regularly to see how each bit fits the
whole. At the end of the notes you will find a blank version of this Mind Map to practise on.

The Debate
about Electricity:
Volta v Galvani

Real
&
Conventional

Measurement
E=F/Q

AC & DC

Voltage
&
Potential Difference

Field Shapes
History
of
Energy
Sources

Power
to
remote Places

Current
Definition
of
Electric Field

Ohms Law

I=Q/t

V=IR

Factors
Affecting
Resistance

Electric
Fields
&
Currents

Society
Needs
Electricity

Series Circuits
Current & Voltage

ELECTRICAL
ENERGY
in the
HOME

Parallel
Circuits

Electrical
Circuits

Current
&
Voltage

Electrical
Safety

Circuit
Breakers
&
ELDs

Earthing
&
Double
Insulation

Ammeters
&
Voltmeters

Magnetic
Effects
of
Electric Current
Fuses
Solenoids
&
Electromagnets

Applications

Preliminary Physics Topic 2


copyright 2005-2007
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Electrical
Power & Energy

Power

Magnetic
Fields

P=E/t
Energy Usage
in a Circuit
E = V.I.t

Magnetic Field
around a wire
Carrying Current
2

P=VI

The kilowatt-h
hour
kWh

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1. SOCIETY NEEDS ELECTRICITY


We are so used to having electrical appliances and getting
things done with the flick of a switch that its easy to forget
that it wasnt always like that.

The Impacts of Change

Energy Sources in History

When only human muscles, animal power and wood


burning was available, most people lived in rural areas and
raised their own food. Cottage Industry was widespread,
with people manufacturing clothing, shoes, furniture, etc
on a small scale in their own homes.

As the sources and available amounts of energy have


changed, so has human society.

Our distant ancestors had only their own muscles and the
warmth of the Sun to provide energy to do anything.
Slowly that changed. Each new energy source gave more
power, more wealth, better living conditions and more
opportunity for humans to survive and control their
environment.

Life was simple and people worked hard. If there was any
leisure time, people entertained themselves with their own
music, singing and dancing.

500,000 BC: control of fire... heating, cooking, etc

The Industrial Revolution changed that by the invention


of mass-production in huge factories. Cottage industry
collapsed, and many country people were forced to move
to cities and find jobs in the factories.

10,000 BC: domestication of animals... animal power


improves the transport of people and goods, plowing, etc.
3,000 BC: wind and water power.... sailing boats,
windmills, etc.

...INDUSTRIALIZATION
& URBANIZATION
Modern factories are now powered by electricity instead of
coal & steam engines, but the trend continues... the jobs
and opportunities (and the bright lights) still attract
country people to the cities.

(approx) 1750 AD: burning of coal begins to replace


wood. Steam engines invented... machinery, trains, steam
ships, etc. This was the Industrial Revolution.

People now enjoy a lot more leisure time, but how they
spend it has changed totally. Electricity makes it possible
to go to a movie, watch TV, listen to CD music or surf the
internet.

1780-1800: scientific investigations of the strange


properties of electricity... the conflicting theories of
Galvani and Volta (see later...), but electricity remains a
scientific curiosity made in small amounts by batteries.

Electricity powers the computers and other equipment that


have revolutionized our banking, businesses and
communication systems.

Photo by Pip

1830s: discovery of how to generate electricity using a


dynamo (generator). Practical amounts of electrical
power become possible, but it was still only used for
scientific research.
1880-1910: a flood of inventions such as the light bulb,
telephone, gramophone
and radio created a demand
for electricity to be made
available on a large scale.
Electricity in peoples homes has resulted in many laboursaving and convenience appliances... washing machines,
diswashers, vacuum cleaners, microwaves... even the
electric toothbrush!

By 1950, all industrialized nations had become totally


converted to, and dependent on electricity for domestic
power.

Preliminary Physics Topic 2


copyright 2005-2007
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The increased access to energy, especially electricity, has


had a profound impact on human society.
3

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POWER SUPPLY TO REMOTE PLACES

Solar Panel Array


on a remote outback property

Despite our societys massive usage of electricity, there are


still remote locations (e.g. in central Australia) where it is
impractical to link small communities to the main power
grid.
These places must use things like:
* Diesel Generators. A diesel powered engine drives an
electric generator.
* Solar Cells. A solar cell converts sunlight directly to
electricity which can be stored in batteries for night use.

Photo by
Oliver Ransom

Volta v Galvani
THE DEBATE ABOUT ELECTRICITY
Back in the 18th century there was great disagreement
about what electricity actually was, and where it came from.

Although he turned out to be wrong, Galvanis idea sparked


tremendous interest in the study of electricity, so he did
contribute to scientific progress. The basic electric meter
for detecting and measuring electricity is called a
galvanometer in his honour.

From 1780 Luigi Galvani carried out a series of


experiments in which freshly dissected frogs legs
twitched when touched by different metal hooks and
wires. Galvani believed that electricity came from the frog
as animal electricity, a sort of fluid that was connected
with the life force.

Frankie

(This scared some people who thought


Science was mucking around with the
soul. Mary Shelley was prompted to
write a warning novel about a misguided scientist who used electricity to
bring life to a spare-parts monster...
you know the rest)

Voltas Pile was the forerunner of modern batteries, and


for many years the best way for the scientists to produce
electricity in the laboratory for further study. In
recognition of his great contribution, we name the
electrical unit, the volt in his honour.
Voltas Pile

Many did not agree with Galvani. Alessandro Volta


suggested that the electricity making the frog muscles jump
was produced by chemical reactions in the metals and
fluids present. His experiments of 1794 supported his idea.

Plates of
Zinc & Silver,
with paper
soaked
in brine
make
electricity...
a chemical
battery

The debate raged between the supporters of each theory,


until 1800 when Volta made huge amounts (for that time)
of electricity from a series of metal plates with paper
soaked in salt water in between.. and not a frog in sight.

(brine is concentrated
salt water)

This settled the debate!

Preliminary Physics Topic 2


copyright 2005-2007
keep it simple science

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2. ELECTRIC FIELDS & CURRENTS


Electrostatic Charges and Fields

FIELD SHAPE
BETWEEN TWO
OPPOSITE CHARGES.
(attracting each other)

Electric charges push or pull each other... there are forces


between them:

SAME CHARGES
DIFFERENT
CHARGES

REPEL
ATTRACT

The forces are best explained by imagining that each


electric charge is surrounded by a FORCE FIELD.
Any electric charge that is placed within the field will
experience a force.

FIELD SHAPE
BETWEEN TWO
IDENTICAL
CHARGES.
(repelling each other)

The only electric field that is quite regular and has the
same strength at each point is the
FIELD BETWEEN TWO ELECTRICALLY
CHARGED PLATES.

SHAPES OF FIELDS
AROUND POINT CHARGES

Positively (+ve)
charged plate

POSITIVE

All these fields are irregular and the strength of the field
varies from place to place.

By definition, the direction of the force field lines is the


direction a positive (+ve) charge would move if placed in
the field.

Negatively (-ve)
charged plate

NEGATIVE

Uniform Field
Between Plates

MEASUREMENT OF CHARGE & FIELD


The unit of electric charge is the Coulomb (C).
1 coulomb of charge is a very large amount, so
microcoulombs(C) are commonly used.
1 C = 1 x 10-6 C

The Electric Field strength is defined and measured as


the Force per unit of Charge:
Electric Field is
ELECTRIC FIELD

(The coulomb is named in honour of a French


scientist.)

E= F
Q

= FORCE
CHARGE

a VECTOR.
It has a
direction as
well as a value.
The direction is
the way a +ve
charge would
move

Since force is measured in newtons (N), and charge is in


coulombs (C), it follows that the unit of electric field
strength is the newton per coulomb (NC-1)

TRY THE WORKSHEET QUESTIONS


at the end of this section

This means if a charge Q experiences an electric force


F, then there must be an electric field present, and its
strength is F/Q.
Preliminary Physics Topic 2
copyright 2005-2007
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keep it simple science

Electric Current

Real Current & Conventional Current

If electric charges are located on insulators (e.g. plastic)


then the charge cannot move and you have static
electricity. This can attract things, or repel other sametype charges, such as when your hair stands on end from
static.

In the mid 19th century, when scientists figured out that


electric current was a flow of electric charges, the obvious
question was is it positives going this way, or negatives
going the other way? Back then they couldnt tell, but
realized that in terms of energy flow it was all the same
anyhow, as long as everyone was consistent about it.

If, however, electric charges are located in a conductor


(e.g. a metal wire) AND there is an electric field present,
then the charges will FLOW THROUGH THE
CONDUCTOR because of the force applied to them by
the field... this is ELECTRIC CURRENT.

So, they decided that current is a stream of (+ve) charges


flowing with the electric field direction lines.

Electric current (I) is defined as the rate of flow of charge,


and can be measured in Coulombs per second. (C.s-1)
However, we call this unit the Ampere (Amp for short,
symbol A) in honour of yet another great scientist.

CURRENT =

Electric Field lines


+

CONVENTIONAL CURRENT
a flow of (+ve) charges along the field lines

They had a 50-50 chance and got it wrong! Later it was


discovered that electric current in a wire is always the flow
of (-ve) electrons in the opposite direction.

CHARGE
TIME

I= Q
t

1 Amp = 1 coulomb per second


TRY THE WORKSHEET
at the end of this section

Electric Field lines


-

REAL CURRENT
a flow of (-ve) electrons
up the field lines

Direct Current & Alternating Current

We still use both descriptions. You must accept that

If the electric field is constant, then the charge will flow


steadily in one direction. This is called DIRECT
CURRENT (DC). Batteries produce DC.

conventional current is a flow of (+ve) charge from


(+ve) terminal to (-ve)
AND
real current is a flow of (-ve) electrons the other way.

Voltage
So what makes the charges flow?
An electric field provides a force that acts on each charge.
(remember E=F/Q ?) This electromotive force (emf)
acts on each charge, giving it ENERGY (measured in
Joules (J)). Voltage is a measure of how much energy is
given to each unit of charge, so...
1 Volt (V) = 1 Joule (J) of energy per Coulomb (C)

Photo by Marcel Hol

So, a 9 volt battery gives 9 Joules of energy to each


Coulomb of charge. A 12 V battery gives 12 J to each
coulomb of electrons, and so on.

If the field keeps reversing its direction, so does the


current. The charges will move back-and-forth. This is
called ALTERNATING CURRENT (AC).
Generators produce AC. Our mains electricity supply is
50 Hz AC... it moves back-and-forth 50 times per second.

Preliminary Physics Topic 2


copyright 2005-2007
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The bigger the voltage, the more energy is available to an


electric circuit, and
...the MORE CURRENT FLOWS.
6

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Non-Ohmic Resistance

Ohms Law

If you tried the same activity (as on left) using a light bulb
as your resistor, the graph will come out rather differently:

You may have carried out a 1st hand investigation in


which you set up a simple electric circuit and meaured the
current flow (in Amps) at various Voltage settings.
Equipment drawing

Voltage

TransformerRectifier unit.
(Power pack)

Resistor
Ammeter
measures
current

Voltmeter
measures
voltage

Circuit
Diagram

Current
V

The curve indicates that the resistance of the bulb keeps


changing and does not have a single value. The bulb does
not follow Ohms Law (straight line, single gradient value)
and is said to be NON-OHMIC

of
be
st
fit

li
ne

The voltage or emf produced by a power source is a


measure of how much energy per unit of charge ( J.C-1)
is given to the charges by the electric field.

ad

ien

t=

More About Voltage...


Potential Difference

gr

Voltage (V)

/I

When your data was graphed, it may have looked like this:

However, when you measure the voltage across a resistor


you are measuring the ENERGY DIFFERENCE (per
charge) from one side of the resistor to the other. So,
instead of measuring the energy gained by the electrons,
you are measuring the energy LOST by the electrons as
they push through the resistor. (energy per unit charge)

Experimental
data points
Current (A)

The straight line graph shows a direct relationship between


voltage & current.

You may have measured this POTENTIAL


DIFFERENCE (P.D.) (or Voltage Drop) across various
parts of a circuit in the laboratory. You will have found
that, in a circuit similar to this diagram,

About 1830, Georg Ohm discovered this relationship and


established that the gradient of the graph is a constant
value for any given resistor. This value is now called the
RESISTANCE, and may be thought of as a value for
how well (or how badly) the flow of current is being
retarded.

R=3

The relationship is now called Ohms Law


gradient = VOLTAGE = RESISTANCE
of graph
CURRENT
V = R
I

or

6V

V=IR

V
V

4V

R=1

2V

12 V Total P.D.

the higher the Resistance, the greater the P.D,


because more energy is lost by the charges.

The unit of resistance is called the Ohm.

).
The symbol for ohms is the greek letter omiga (

the sum of the P.D.s around the circuit is equal to


the total voltage drop for the entire circuit.

TRY THE WORKSHEET at the end of this section.

Preliminary Physics Topic 2


copyright 2005-2007
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R=2

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Plastic
Insulation
Conducting
Wire

Conductors and Insulators


A conductor can now be understood as a substance with
a very low resistance value, and an insulator as a
substance with a very high value.
Generally, metals are good conductors. Silver & gold are
excellent conductors, but we mostly use copper and
aluminium for electrical wiring because they are nearly as
good as conductors, and a lot cheaper.

Factors Affecting the Resistance of a Wire


Length: everything else being equal, the LONGER
conductor has MORE RESISTANCE.

Good insulators include glass, plastic and paper.


Although their resistance is very high, its all a matter of
Ohms Law. If a large enough voltage is applied, even a
good insulator can break down and allow current to
flow.

Longer wire = More Resistance


2 wires,
same thickness

Contrary to general belief, water itself is NOT a good


conductor... the resistance of pure water is very high.
However, sea water, bath water or even tap water may
have enough dissolved chemicals in it, to increase the
conductivity (decrease the resistance) to dangerous levels
when mains electricity (240 V) is involved.

Shorter wire = Less Resistance

Cross-sectional Area: the LARGER the crosssectional area, the LESS RESISTANCE.

2 wires,
same length

Thicker wire = Less Resistance

Thinner wire = More Resistance

Temperature: Generally in metals, the HOTTER they


get, the MORE RESISTANCE they develop.
Type of Material: as already mentioned, metals are
mostly good conductors, glass & plastic are poor, and so
on.

Conducting wires and glass


insulators on a power pole
Preliminary Physics Topic 2
copyright 2005-2007
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Worksheet 1
Society & Electricity
Fill in the blanks. Check answers at the back.

Worksheet 2
Electric Fields and Currents
Two electric charges of the same type will a)..........................
each other, while b).................................. charges will attract.
Electric charge is measured in units called c)...........................
The forces between charges are explained by the concept of
the d)...................................................... which is thought to
surround each charge. Any charge which is in this field
will experience a e)...................................... The direction of
the field is defined as the direction that a f)..............................
charge would move due to the field. The strength of the
field is defined as the g).............................. per unit of
h)................................ The measurement unit for electric
field is i).............................................

For most of human history, energy was provided


by burning of a)................................. or came from
the muscle power of people or b)...........................
About 3,000BC c).............................. and
................................. power began to be used, but it
was not until the d)................................. Revolution
(about 1750AD) that large amounts of energy
started to be used. The burning of e)....................
to power f).............................. engines and
machinery, resulted in large scale manufacturing
industry. Electricity began to be investigated
scientifically about g)................................. (year)
but it was 100 years before large scale use of
electricity began. The demand for electricity was
created by inventions of new devices such as
h).................................., .............................................
and ........................................................

If an electric field acts on charges in a


j)..........................................., they will flow. This is an electric
k)................................, which is defined as the l)........................
of flow of m)...............................The unit of current is the
n)................................., which is equivalent to the number of
o).......................... of charge flowing per p)..............................
Direct Current (DC) is when the current flows
q)....................................................................................................
r)............................................... (AC) is when the charges flow
s).......................................................................... Conventional
Current is imagined to be a flow of t)................. charges
from u)............................. to v)..........................................
Real Current actually is a stream of w)..............................
flowing from x).......................... towards y)..............................

The increased usage of energy has totally


changed the way humans live. Society has become
i)............................................ (=most people live in
cities) and people enjoy much more
j)........................................ time. Much of this time
is spent being entertained by technology powered
by
k)..................................,
such
as
l)................................. and ...........................................
In the home are many labour-saving devices such
as m)................................ and .....................................

Voltage (or z)............................................ Force (emf)) is


a measure of how much aa)............................................. is
given to each coulomb of charge by the electric field. The
unit is the ab)......................................., which is equivalent to
the number of ac)............................ of energy per
ad).................................. of charge.
If the current through a resistor is measured at various
voltages, the data forms a ae)....................................................
(shape) graph. The af).......................................... of the graph
is equal to the ag)............................................... of the resistor.
The relationship is known as ah).................................. Law.
Resistance is measured in the unit called the
ai)...............................

Despite our widespread use of electricity, there


are still remote communities who must use
n)................................... or ..........................................
to get electricity.

When you measure the voltage across a resistor, you are


really measuring the energy aj).................................. by the
charges as they push their way through the resistor. The
higher the resistance, the greater the ak)........................
...................................... (P.D.)

Luigi Galvani believed that electricity was created


by o)................................................., but Alessandro
p)............................. showed that it came from
chemical reactions. He invented the
q)....................................... pile which was a
primitive r)......................................

The resistance of a conducting material is affected by:


Length: the longer the wire, the al)...........................................
the resistance.
Cross-sectional Area: the thicker the wire, the
am).................................. the resistance.
Temperature: at higher temperatures most metals have
an)................................................... resistance.
Type of Material: generally, ao).......................................... are
good conductors. Plastic, glass, paper etc are good
ap)..............................
PRACTICE PROBLEMS next page

COMPLETED WORKSHEETS
BECOME SECTION SUMMARIES

Preliminary Physics Topic 2


copyright 2005-2007
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Worksheet 2 continued
Practice Problems
Ohms Law
Example Problem 1
What current would flow through a 4.0 resistor if the
voltage across the resistor is 10 V ?

Electric Charges & Fields

Example Problem 1
When an electric charge Q = 6.50x10-4 C is placed in an
electric field, it experiences a force of 8.15x10-2 N. What is
the field strength at that point?
Answer:
E=F/Q
= 8.15x10-2 / 6.50x10-4
E = 125 NC-1
Example Problem 2
What force would be experienced by a charge of
4.68x10-6 C, when placed in an electric field with strength
3.65x103 NC-1?
Answer: E = F/Q,
so F = E.Q
= 3.65x103 x 4.68x10-6
= 0.017082
= 1.71 x 10-2 N
TRY THESE...
1. A charge of 45.0 C is placed in an electric field and
experiences a force of 100 N.
What is the field strength?

Answer:

V = IR
10 = I x 4.0
I = 10 / 4.0 = 2.5 A.
Example Problem 2
In an electric circuit, a 5.00 resistor is found to have
2.50A of current flowing through it.
a) What is the potential difference (PD) across the resistor?
b) How much electric charge is passing through the resistor
per second?
c) How much charge would pass through in 1.00 hour?
Answer
a)
V = IR
= 2.50 x 5.00
= 12.5 V
b) Since 1 Amp = 1 coulomb per second, there must be
2.50 C of charge per sec. ( 2.50 C.s-1)
c)
I=Q/t
2.50 = Q / (60x60)
Q = 2.50 x 60 x 60 = 9,000 C
= 9.00x103 C
TRY THESE...

2. What is the strength of a field if a force of 458 N is


experienced by a charge of 0.245 C?
3. A charge of 1.06x10-6 C is placed in an electric field. It
experiences a force of 25.0N.
Calculate the strength of the electric field.

1. If 25.0 C of charge passed through a 0.500 resistor in


10.0 s:
a) what current is flowing?
b) What is the voltage across the resistor?

4. What force would be applied to a charge of 1.25C if


placed in a field with strength 250 NC-1?
5. A charge is placed in an electric field with strength of
5.00x10-2 NC-1. A force of 8.20x10-3 N is experienced.
What is the value of the charge?

2. Across a 20.0 resistor the P.D. is 12.0 V.


a) Find the current which would flow.
b) How much electric charge would pass through the
resistor in 30.0 seconds?

6. Calculate the force that would be felt by a 0.0465C


charge if placed in a 3.48x102 NC-1 field.

3. Across a resistor there is a P.D. = 15.0 V, and a current


of 3.00 A flows.
a) What is the value of the resistance?
b) The voltage is reduced to 6.00 V across the same resistor.
What current will flow?
c) What voltage would be required to cause a current of
4.50 A to flow in this resistor?

7. a) What is the value of the electric field if a 3.00x10-4 C


charge experiences a force of 0.0255N?
b) What force would be experienced by a 8.22 C charge
when placed in the field from (a)?
Careful! You must use charge in coulombs, NOT C.

4. Find the resistance of a circuit if 9.00 V causes a total of


120 C of charge to pass through in 3.00 minutes.

Remember that for full marks


in calculations, you need to show
FORMULA, NUMERICAL SUBSTITUTION,
APPROPRIATE PRECISION and UNITS

5. What voltage is needed to make a total of 360 C of


charge to pass through a 22.5 resistor in 3.00 minutes.
Check your answers, final pages.

Preliminary Physics Topic 2


copyright 2005-2007
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3. ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS... SERIES & PARALLEL


In your home, electricity is supplied to lights and appliances
by a number of electrical circuits. Each circuit usually
supplies power to several lights or power points. For
example a light circuit might have 6 lights connected,
each able to be switched on/off separately.
How are these 6 lights in one circuit connected?
There are 2 basic ways to connect multiple components
into a single circuit... in SERIES, or in PARALLEL.

Series Circuits
In a series circuit the components are connected one after
the other, in a single pathway for the current..

+ve

You will have done laboratory work to measure the


voltages and currents in different parts of a series circuit:
Below is a circuit for measuring voltages and current in
different parts of a series circuit.

-v
ve

Ammeters measure
current in different
parts of the circuit

DC Power Source

VT

AT

Voltmeter measures
total for the circuit

3 light bulbs in SERIES

R2

R1

All the current must flow through all the bulbs

A1

The electricity has no choice. All the current must flow in


the single path through all the bulbs.

V1

The light bulbs are either all on, or all off. They CANNOT
be switched independently. If one bulb burns out the
circuit is broken and they all go out.

A2
V2

Voltmeters measure P.D.


across each resistor

What you may have found:


Current is the same throughout the circuit.
(i.e. in the circuit above IT = I1 = I2 )
Voltages are different across different resistors., BUT they
add up to the total for the circuit.
(i.e. in the circuit above
VT = V1 + V2 )
Ohms Law is obeyed for each resistor, AND for the
entire circuit.

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Parallel Circuits
You will have done laboratory work to measure voltages
and currents in different parts of a parallel circuit:

DC Power Source

Total Voltage
measurement

Total Current

Current divides at each


circuit branch

AT

Voltmeters measure P.D.


across each resistor

VT

3 light bulbs in PARALLEL

A1
V1
A2
V2

Ammeters measure current


through each resistor

In a parallel circuit the components are arranged in


separate branches of the circuit.

A3
V3

At each branch the current divides and flows through


ONE bulb only.

What you would have found:


Voltages are all the same across each resistor.
(in the circuit above
VT = V1 = V2 = V3)

Each bulb can be switched on/off separately, and if one


burns out, the others continue to work.

Currents are different in each branch, but add up to the


total current.
( IT = I1 + I2 + I3 )
Ohms Law is obeyed in each branch, AND for the
entire circuit.

TRY THE WORKSHEET, next page

Ammeters & Voltmeters

Electrical Circuits in the Home

Ammeters measure the current (i.e. flow of charge) and so


they must be placed in SERIES with the component you
wish to measure current flow through. They have very low
resistance, to allow current through easily.

A typical modern home is wired to contain at least 5 or 6


separate circuits, and all of them are parallel.

Voltmeters measure the Potential Difference across a


component, and must be placed in PARALLEL with it.
Voltmeters have extremely high resistance and must
NEVER be placed in series.

they can be switched on/off independently.


if one burns out, the others keep operating normally.
(In series circuits, its one off - all off)
The total resistance of the parallel circuit is less, and more
usable POWER can be delivered to each light or appliance.

WHY ALWAYS PARALLEL CIRCUITS?


Perhaps youve already answered this question.
If you have several lights on the same parallel circuit:

WHY NOT JUST ONE CIRCUIT?


If all the lights and appliances in your home were on just
one parallel circuit, and everything was switched on at the
same time, the current flow in the main circuit line would
be enormous.

Voltmeter
in parallel
with bulb
Main
Circuit

This would be very dangerous. High current levels can


cause wires to get hot, melt their insulation and perhaps
start a fire.

Parallel
branch
Ammeter
in Series with
bulb
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Practice Problems
Example Problem 1

Worksheet 3
Fill in the blanks. Check answers at the back.

a) Ammeter A1 reads
8.00A. What current flows
through A2 and A3 ?
b) Find the resistance of
each resistor R1, R2 & R3.
c) Predict the reading on
voltmeter VT.

There are 2 different ways to arrange electrical


components in a circuit: a).....................................
or .....................................
In a series circuit the electricity must flow
through b)............... the components. The current
is c)......................... in every part of the circuit.
The voltages (P.D.) across each resistor may be
d).........................................., but the sum of
individual
voltages
is
equal
to
e)......................................... for the whole circuit.
Ohms Law f)................ (is/is not) obeyed for each
resistor and for g).....................................................

VT

AT
8.00 A
R1

A2

V1

R2

V3

V2

12.0 V

R3

A3

16.0 V

4.00 V

Solution:
a) 8.00 A flows through both.
(current is the same in every part of a series circuit)
b) Using Ohms Law:
V = IR
in R1: 12.0=8.00xR1, R1=12.0/8.00 = 1.50
in R2: 4.00=8.00xR2, R2=4.00/8.00 = 0.50
in R3: 16.0=8.00xR3, R3=16.0/8.00 = 2.00
c) VT = V1 + V2 + V3 (in a series circuit, individual P.D.s
= 12.0 + 4.00 + 16.0
add up to the total)
= 32.0 V

In a parallel circuit the electricity


h)............................. at each branch of the
circuit. The voltage in each branch is
i)..................................... The current in each
branch can be j)..........................................., and will
add up equal to the current for
k)..................................... Ohms Law l).....................
(is/is not) obeyed for each resistor and for
m)..................................................................................

Example Problem 2
Total voltage = 12.0 V.
The total current at
AT= 5.20 A. Ammeter
A1 reads 0.800A.
Resistor R3 has
resistance of 4.50.
a) What would be the
readings on the other 3
voltmeters?
b) Find the current at A3
c) Find the current at A2
d) Find the resistance of
R1 & R2.

Circuits in a home are always wired in


n)............................................This allows each
light/appliance to be switched on/off
o)...................................................., and if one bulb
burns out the others on the same circuit will
p)......................................................... It also allows
maximum q)................................. to be delivered to
each light/appliance without requiring dangerous
levels of r)................................
Ammeters
must
be
connected
in
s).........................................., while Voltmeters must
be connected in t).................................

AT 5.20 A

VT
R1

12.0V
A1

V1

0.800 A

A2
R2

V2
R3=4.50

A3

V3

Solution:
a) 12.0 V. (Voltages are the same in every branch of a
parallel circuit)
b) V=IR
12.0= A3 x 4.50
A3=12.0/4.50 = 2.67 A
c) Since (in any pllel crt.) AT = A1 + A2 + A3
5.20 = 0.800 + A2 + 2.67
A2 = 1.73 A
d)
V=IR
R1: 12.0 = 0.800 x R1
R1=12.0/0.800
= 15.0
R2: 12.0 = 1.73 x R2
R2=12.0/1.73 = 6.94

COMPLETED WORKSHEETS
BECOME SECTION SUMMARIES

Problems for you to try, next page.

Preliminary Physics Topic 2


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3. In this circuit are 3 identical light bulbs (A,B


& C) and 4 switches labelled S1, S2, etc.
The battery is 6.0 V.

TRY THESE:
1. In the series circuit shown, the current is
measured to be 1.25 A.

6.0V

S1

R1
V1

R2=10.0

V2

6.50V

R3

B
C

V3
2.40V

a) Find the resistances of R1 & R3.


b) Find the potential difference across R2.
c) What is the voltage of the power source?
d) What would happen in this circuit if R3
burned out?

S2
S3
S4

a) Which switch(es) must be closed to light up


bulb B ONLY?
b) When all bulbs are lit, the current through
C is 2.0 A. Find the resistance of the bulb.

2.
a) Sketch an electric circuit containing 2 resistors
(R1 & R2) in parallel and a DC power source.
Show the position of an ammeter ready to
measure the current through R1, and a voltmeter
to measure potential difference across R2.

c) What is the total current flow from the


battery when all the bulbs are lit?
(hint: the
bulbs are identical)
d) Later, with ALL switches closed, bulb A
burns out.
What happens to the other bulbs? (On or off ?)

b) If the voltmeter reads 8.00 V, and R2=6.00,


calculate the current through R2.
c) The ammeter reads 2.50 A. Calculate the
resistance of R1.

e) When A burns out, it is found by ammeter


that the current through C becomes 1.50 A.
Calculate the resistance of bulb C.

d) What is the total current flowing out of the


power source?

f) Considering the answer to (b), is bulb C an


ohmic or non-ohmic resistor? Explain.

FULLY WORKED SOLUTIONS


IN THE ANSWERS SECTION

Preliminary Physics Topic 2


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4. ELECTRICAL POWER & ENERGY


Electrical Energy

Electrical Power

If you combine the 2 equations P = VI and P = E


t
Then, it follows that
VI = E
t
and therefore,

Power is defined as the rate at which energy is


transformed.
Mathematically:

Power = Energy
time
P= E
t

or

E = V.I.t
E = P.t

Electrical = Voltage x Current x time


Energy
(Joules)
(Volts)
(Amps) (sec)

The unit of power should (therefore) be the Joule per sec


( J.s-1)but this unit is called a Watt (W), in honour of
James Watt who engineered steam engines and discovered
much about the concept of power.

The Kilowatt-Hour (kW.h)


Measuring energy in joules can be quite inconvenient
because 1 joule is a very tiny amount.
For this reason, in everyday life, electrical energy is
measured in kilowatt-hours (kW.h)

It can be shown that, in the case of electrical energy:

An appliance with a power rating of 1,000 W (=1 kW) if


allowed to run for 1 hour will consume 1 kW.h of energy.

Power = Voltage x Current


(Watts) (Volts)
(Amps)

On a domestic electricity bill, your homes electricity


consumption is measured in kW.h and you pay per kW.h
used. Currently youll pay about 20 cents per kW.h.

P = VI

Appliance
Light bulb
TV set (small)
Elect. Heater
Oven (large)

TRY THE WORKSHEET at the end of this section.

Power
100 W
400 W
2,000 W
8,000 W

Time to use 1 kW.h


10 hours
2.5 hours
30 min.
7.5 min.

An Experiment You May Have Done:


Energy Conversion in an Electric Heating Coil
A typical equipment set-up is shown:
Wires to
Power
Pack

Metres measure
voltage & current

Typical results:
Electrical data
Voltage = 12V
Current = 2.0A
Time circuit ON= 300 s.

Thermometer

Measured
quantity of
water in
insulated
container

How to analyse these Results:


Electrical Energy Used
E = V.I.t
E = 12 x 2.0 x 300 = 7,200 J

Electrical
heating
coil

Heat Energy Produced


Heat = mass of x
Energy
water

The heating coil is a resistance wire which gets hot when


electricity is forced through it. The energy change is:
ELECTRICITY
HEAT
A measured quantity of water is heated for a measured
period of time. The current and voltage in the circuit are
recorded, as is the temperature change of the water.

H = 100 x 17 x 4.2
= 7,140 J

Temp x 4.2
change

This is because it
takes 4.2 Joules
of energy to raise
the temp. of
1gram of water
by 1oC

Therefore, (within experimental error) the electrical energy


consumed by the electric circuit is equal to the amount of
heat energy produced (and absorbed by the water).

From these measurements the amount of electrical energy


used by the electric circuit can be compared to the amount
of heat energy gained by the water.
Preliminary Physics Topic 2
copyright 2005-2007
keep it simple science

Heat data
mass of water = 100g
start Temp. water = 15oC
end Temp. water = 32oC
change in Temp. = 17oC

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Worksheet 4

3. In an electric circuit, 7.50 A of current is flowing


through a load (an appliance using power) with resistance
of 16.0 ohm.
a) What is the voltage across the load?
b) Find the power developed by the load.
c) How much energy (in Joules) will be used if the
appliance is run for 45.0 min?
d) If the same appliance (i.e. same resistance) was plugged
into a 240 V supply, what current would flow? Why might
this be dangerous?

Fill in the blanks. Check your answers at the back.

a)............................. is the rate at which energy is used or


converted. The S.I. unit of power is the b)............................
Electrical power is equal to the c).......................... multiplied
by the d).............................
The amount of energy used in an electric circuit is equal to
the e)........................ x .............................. x ...............................
The SI unit of energy is the f)........................... but in
everyday life this is not convenient because
g)....................................................................................................
The unit used instead is the h)..............................................

4. In an experiment, a 240 V electric kettle was used to boil


1.00 litre (= 1,000g mass) of water. The water temperature
went from 20o to 100oC in 3.50 minutes.
a) How much heat energy was added to the water?
(Heat energy = mass water x temp. change x 4.18)
b) Assuming perfect energy conversion, how much
electrical energy was consumed?
c) What power was developed by the kettle?
d) What current flowed?
e) What was the resistance of the heating element?

Practice Problems
Example Problem
In an electric circuit, a 240 V source causes a flow of
current of 8.50 A.
a) What is the resistance of the circuit?
b) What power does the circuit use.
c) How much energy is consumed if this circuit is left on
for 3.00 minutes?
Solution:
a)Ohms Law

b)

5. A 12.0 V car battery is rated at 100 Amp-hours of


energy. This means it is capable of delivering 1 Amp of
current for 100 hours (or 2A for 50 hours, or 4A for 25 hrs,
and so on). The battery is connected to a light bulb with
resistance of 16.0 ohm.
a) What current will flow?
b) For how long can the battery run this light bulb? (hours)
c) What is the power of the bulb?
d) How much energy (in joules) will be consumed in the
time calculated in (b)? (hint: time must be in seconds!)
e) Therefore, how many joules of energy are equivalent to
1 Amp-hour?

V= IR
240= 8.50 x R
R = 240 / 8.50
= 28.2

P= VI
= 240 x 8.50
= 2,040 = 2.04x103 W
c) E= V.I.t
= 240 x 8.50 x (3 x 60)
= 367,200
= 3.67x105 J

(2.04 kW)

TRY THESE:
1.
a) Find the power rating of a 12.0 V circuit, drawing 1.50A
of current.
b) How much energy will it consume in 1.00 hour?
(Remember, time must be in seconds!)

6. An electric toaster is described as 240 V, 1.2 kW


a) What current flows through it, under normal operation?
b) What is the resistance of the toaster?
c) How much energy (in joules) is consumed in the time it
takes (1.50 min) to make toast?

2.
A 240 V circuit used 1.65x103 J of energy when left
running for 30.0 minutes.
a) What is its power rating?
b) What current was flowing?
c) How much electric charge (in coulombs) flowed in the 30
minutes?
d) What is the resistance of the circuit?

7. An electric heater is rated as 250V, 1000W


a) What current will the heater draw?
b) If this heater was switched on for 1.00 hour, how much
energy would it consume,
i) measured in kW.h?
ii) measured in Joules?
c) Therefore, how many Joules is equivalent to 1 kW.h?

HINT:
In many of these problems you will need to convert the
time into seconds, before using it in calculations

Preliminary Physics Topic 2


copyright 2005-2007
keep it simple science

Remember that for full marks


in calculations, you need to show
FORMULA, NUMERICAL SUBSTITUTION,
APPROPRIATE PRECISION and UNITS

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5. MAGNETIC EFFECTS OF ELECTRICITY


Magnetic Fields

Electric Current Creates Magnetic Fields

Just as every electric charge acts as if it is surrounded by an


invisible force field, so too for magnets.

It is now known that all magnetic fields are produced by


moving electric charges.

Magnets have 2 different poles, and can either attract or


repel each other.

In a bar magnet, the charged particles within the atoms


move in such a way to produce a permanent magnetic field.

Opposite poles attract

In the Earths liquid-iron core there are electric currents


flowing and creating the huge magnetic field that causes
small magnets to point north-south... the magnetic
compass.

You may have used small magnetic compasses to map


various magnetic fields, including the field produced by an
electric current flowing along a straight wire:

Same poles repel

The Earth has a magnetic field, and that is how the poles
of any magnet have come to be called north & south.

Magnetic Field lines


Conventional
Current
Flow

Each magnet can be


imagined to be
surrounded by magnetic
lines of force...
a magnetic field.
The magnetic field direction
is defined as the
direction that a small
NORTH pole would move
if placed in the field.
(But you cant ever get
an isolated north pole!
They always come in north-south pairs)

wire

To predict the shape of such a field, use the RightHand Grip Rule. Pretend you are gripping the wire
with your thumb pointing the direction of the
Right Hand
flow of Conventional current
I
(+ve towards -ve).
The curling fingers show
the direction of the field.
To more easily draw and understand diagrams you must
also learn the arrow technique to represent currents or
field-lines that are perpendicular to the page.

When 2 magnets are brought near each other the attraction


or repulsion is due to the way their fields interact:

Fields
Attracting

Imagine an arrow coming straight out of the page at you...


all you see is its point ( ). If the arrow is going down into
the page, you only see its feathers ( x ).

Use the R.H. Grip Rule on these diagrams to get the idea.
magnetic
fields
around
wires

Fields
Repelling

wire with current


INTO page

Notice that field lines never cross each other

magnetic field into page

IT TURNS OUT THAT MAGNETISM IS CAUSED


BY ELECTRIC CURRENTS...
Preliminary Physics Topic 2
copyright 2005-2007
keep it simple science

wire with current


OUT OF page

wire
magnetic field out of page

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Solenoids & Electromagnets

An Application of Electromagnets...
MOVING COIL SPEAKERS

The magnetic field around a straight wire carrying current,


is quite weak. However, if the wire is wrapped into a helix
or coil, the magnetic field in each loop adds to its
neighbours to intensify the field.

All the electrical devices in your home that you listen to


(radio, TV, music system, etc) produce sounds from a
speaker. HOW?
Electromagnets!

Magnetic field of a Solenoid


magnetic
field lines

The electrical current from the radio/TV tuner or music


system is modulated according to the signal involved. This
means the current fluctuates in a way corresponding to the
music, or persons voice, or whatever.

Cone
vibrates

Coiled wire carrying


electric current

The magnetic field of a solenoid is exactly the same shape


as a bar magnet. To determine the polarity of the solenoid
(i.e. which end is north and south) once again use a RightHand Rule.
If you curl your fingers in the same
direction as the flow of
conventional current in the coil...

Right Hand

...then your thumb points


to the North pole

Electromagnet vibrates
as its fluctuating field
interacts with
other magnet.

Circular,
permanent
magnet

Sound waves
Current fluctuates
according to signal
from radio, TV or
music system.

Solenoid
Coil

Since the current fluctuates, so does the magnetic field of


the electromagnet.

Conventional
current flow

Since there is another magnetic field close by to interact


with, the electromagnet vibrates back and forth as its field
varies, and the attraction / repulsion of the other magnet
varies.

You may have carried out a laboratory exercise in which


you made an electromagnet. This is simply a coil with a bar
of iron in the middle. The iron intensifies the solenoid field
so that even with quite low currents (e.g. 2 Amps) the
magnetic effect is as strong as a small bar magnet.

The electromagnet is attached to a cone of stiff plastic


which also vibrates, sending compression waves into the air.

The big difference, of course, is that the magnetic field of


an electromagnet can be switched on and off with the
electric current.

As you will remember from the previous topic,


compression waves in air are SOUND WAVES.

An electromagnet has converted electrical


current into the sounds of a human voice,
music, or whatever you want to listen to.

A SIMPLE ELECTROMAGNET
Iron core
Solenoid coil
Electricity
source
switch

AS YOU WILL LEARN IN THE HSC COURSE,


ELECTROMAGNETS ARE THE BASIS OF
ELECTRIC MOTORS.
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6. ELECTRICAL SAFETY in the home


Earth Leakage Devices (ELDs)
are electronic circuit breakers which monitor the current
going into, and out of, a circuit. If the current in both
directions is the same, no problem.

The Dangers of Electricity


Your nerve system sends messages throughout your body
by low energy electrical signals along your nerve fibres.
Your muscles contract when stimulated electrically by the
nerves.

If there is even slightly less current coming out than going


in, it means some is leaking out , maybe in the process of
electrocuting a person. In this case the ELD shuts the
circuit off so quickly that the person at risk is not hurt.

This is why electrocution is so very dangerous. Even a


small electrical current (say, 0.1 Amp) from a voltage source
as little as 50 V can disrupt nerve signals and send muscles
into spasms. If the muscle involved is your heart, it can go
into fibrillation where it quivers uncontrollably and does
not pump blood properly... a potentially lethal situation.

Although expensive, ELDs save lives, and they are now


compulsory in all new buildings in most cities and towns.

Our mains electricity, at 240V, is well able to kill.

Earthing.
Ever wonder why a power point and most plugs have 3
slots/pins? Only 2 are needed for the electric circuit, the
3rd is for the earth wire.

As well as that, badly designed or faulty wiring systems can


cause an electrical circuit to overheat, or create sparks
which can start a fire. Many house fires are started by
electrical faults.

So long as nothing goes


wrong, the earth wire
carries no current and does
nothing.

Safety Devices
Fuses
A fuse is merely a short piece of wire with a very low
melting point. If an excess of current flow through it, it
gets hot, melts and thereby breaks the circuit.

Circuit slots

Earth
However, if a loose wire
slot
or faulty insulation allows
an appliance to become live
with electricity, the current is
conducted safely by the earth wire down into the
ground, rather than through a person touching the
appliance.

Fuses are designed to be 5 Amp or 8 Amp or 15


Amp, etc, according to the maximum current they will
allow through, before they blow. It is vital to replace a
burnt-out fuse with the correct one, to avoid a circuit
becoming overloaded, and creating a fire risk.

This flow of current to Earth will usually burn-out the


fuse, or trip the circuit-breaker or ELD, as well.

Fuses in house circuits are now old-fashioned and have


been replaced by more efficient devices:-

Double Insulation.
So why do some appliances only have 2-pin plugs, with NO
earth connection?

Circuit Breakers
do the same job as a fuse, but can be re-set after a circuit
overload causes them to trip. Therefore, they are much
more convenient, as well as more efficient and reliable for
interrupting a faulty circuit.

If a fault occurred in a small hand-held appliance (e.g.


power drill, hair-drier), even with an earth wire the person
holding the appliance would get a shock. So, these
appliances are designed so that the electrical circuits within
are shielded from human contact by TWO layers of
insulation, one being the moulded plastic body of the
appliance.

Circuit breakers can work in different ways, but one design


involves an electromagnet. If excessive current flows, the
magnetic field becomes strong enough to attract an iron
switch, which turns the circuit off. Once the fault is fixed,
the system can be re-set by pressing a button.
Fuse-B
Box in a
modern home.
(no fuses at all..)

Even if something goes wrong inside, the double layer of


insulation ensures that electricity cannot make contact with
the person.

ELDs &
Circuit Breakers
These are the
re-set switches

For larger appliances, or those in which normal operation


does not involve human contact, double-insulation is not
practical, so the earth-wire system is used.

Preliminary Physics Topic 2


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Worksheet 5

Worksheet 6

Fill in the blanks. Check answers at the back

Electricity is dangerous because it can cause


a)............................. in your muscles. If this
happens to your b)............................., it can be
c)..........................................., even at quite low
voltages (about d).................. volts) and current
(about e)............... Amps)

Magnets (like electric charges) are surrounded by


a force a).................................. which has 2
opposite b)........................ called c).........................
and ................................... Poles of the same type
d)................................... each other, while opposite
poles e)........................................... The direction of
the magnetic field is defined as the direction that
f)................................................................. if placed
in the field. Magnetic fields are produced by
g)................................ that are h).................................
This means that any wire carrying an
i).....................................
will
produce
a
j)............................. field. The field around a
straight
wire
carrying
current
is
k)................................ (shape) The direction of
this field can be determined by using the
l)............................................. Grip Rule.
If a wire is wound into a coil, it is called a
m).......................... If current is passed through
this, the magnetic field is intensified and has the
same shape as n)........................................ Its
polarity can also be determined by the R.H. Grip
rule: if the fingers wrap in the direction of the
o)................................ current, then the thumb
points to the p)........................ pole.
If an q)...................... core is placed inside the
solenoid, it becomes an r)....................................
These are the basis of many useful devices such
as electric s)....................................
The Moving Coil Speakers in TVs, radios, etc
use an electromagnet too. The electric signal is
t).............................. and this causes the field of
the electromagnet to u)...........................................
This interacts with a circular, permanent magnet
to cause a cone to v).................................. and
produce w)....................................... waves from the
speaker.

The main electrical safety devices in the home


are:
1. Common Sense!
2. Fuses. A fuse is a piece of f)...............................
with a very low g)............................................. If
excessive current flows in the circuit, the fuse
wire
h)............................
and
thereby
i)....................................................................................
3. Circuit Breakers. These are electro-mechanical
devices that j).......................................... a switch if
excessive current flows. They are more
convenient
than
a
fuse
because
k)...................................................................................
4. ELDs. This stands for l).......................
..................................................... An ELD monitors
the current going in, and coming out, of an
electric circuit. If the currents are the same
m).............................................................................. If
they are different, it means that electricity is
n)............................................ of the circuit and
something is wrong. The ELD will instantly
o)..............................................
5. Earthing. All power points, and most plugs
have p)................ (number) slots or pins. Only
q)...................... are needed for the circuit, the
other is the r).......................................................... If
there is a fault and an appliance becomes
s)................................., the current will flow safely
to the t).................................................
6.) Double Insulation is used on
u)........................................... appliances, such as
v)............................................... The appliance has 2
layers of w)............................................... between
the user and the electric circuits inside. Even if a
fault
occurs,
the
electricity
cannot
x).........................................

CONCEPT DIAGRAM (Mind Map) OF TOPIC


Some students find that memorizing the OUTLINE of a topic
helps them learn and remember the concepts and important facts.
Practise on this blank version.

ELECTRICAL
ENERGY
in the
HOME

keep it simple science

Emmaus Catholic College SL#802440

TM

7.
Voltage or potential difference is a measure of:
A. difference in amount of energy per unit of charge.
B. the force pushing a charge through a circuit.
C. the force per unit of charge in an electric field.
D. the potential energy at a point in an electric field.

Practice Questions
These are not intended to be "HSC style" questions, but to
challenge your basic knowledge and understanding of the topic,
and remind you of what you NEED to know at the K.I.S.S.
principle level.
When you have confidently mastered this level, it is strongly
recommended you work on questions from past exam papers.
Part A

8.
Several conducting wires made of the same material were tested
for their electrical resistance. The one with the highest resistance
would most likely be:
A. thin, long and high temperature.
B. thick, long and high temperature.
C. thick, short and cool.
D. thin, short and cool.

Multiple Choice

1. In the 17th century debate about the origin of electricity, and


the meaning of the famous frogs legs experiments:
A. Volta thought it came from within the frog.
B. Galvani believed it came from the metals & fluids reacting
chemically.
C. Volta believed it came from the metals & fluids reacting
chemically.
D. Galvani & Volta supported the same ideas.

9.
In a parallel circuit:
A. current in each branch is the same, and voltages add up to
the circuit total.
B. voltage in each branch is the same, and currents add up to the
circuit total.
C. voltage AND current are the same in each branch.
D. voltages AND currents add up to the circuit totals.

2. The diagram shows 2 electric charges. The direction of the


electric field at point P would be:
A. to the right.
B. to the left.
P
+
C. upwards.
D. downwards.

10.
In the series circuit
shown, the 3 resistors all
have different resistance
values.
It would be true to say:

3. An electric charge of Q coulombs experienced a force of F


newtons due to an electric field with magnitude of E units. The
value of Q could be calculated as follows:
A. Q = F / E
B. Q = F x E
C. Q = E / F
D. Q = F + E

A. The voltages V1, V2 & V3 would be all the same.


B. The currents through R1, R2 & R3 would add up to the total
current in the circuit.
C. The currents through each resistor would be the same.
D. For each resistor, the higher the resistance, the less current
would flow through it.

4. An electric current composed of positive charges flowing


steadily in one direction is:
A. real, alternating current.
B. conventional, alternating current.
C. real, direct current.
D. conventional, direct current.

11.
Which statement about electrical meters is correct?
A. Ammeters have low resistance and must be connected in parallel.
B. Voltmeters have low resistance and must be connected in series.
C. Ammeters have high resistance and must be connected in series.
D. Voltmeters have high resistance and must be connected in parallel.

5. If 5.00 x 102 C of charge flowed past in 2.50 minutes, then the


electric current would be:
A. 200 A
B. 333 A
C. 3.33 A
D. 0.3 A
6. The circuit shown was used to
test Ohms Law on the
resistor R.
The results gathered were:
Voltage(V)
2.0
4.0
6.0
10

Current (A)
0.5
0.8
1.0
1.25

12.
Which of the following is NOT a reason for a household circuit
containing 6 lights to be connected in parallell? (as compared to
the same lights in series)
A. Each light can be switched on/off independently.
B. Parallel will allow less current to flow, and be safer.
C. Total resistance will be less, and more power delivered.
D. If one light burns out, the others will keep going.

From these results, it would be true to say that:


A. Ohms Law was obeyed.
B. R is a non-ohmic resistor.
C. R has a resistance value of 5.75 ohm
D. the meter readings must have been inaccurate.

Preliminary Physics Topic 2


copyright 2005-2007
keep it simple science

13. Which machine delivers the most power?


Energy conversion (J)
Time(s)
A.
500
10
B.
2,000
100
C.
10
0.1
D.
800
20

22

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keep it simple science

Emmaus Catholic College SL#802440

TM

20. (8 marks)
a) What is the resistance of a circuit if 4.20 A flows across a
potential difference of 240 V?
b) If this circuit is left running for 30 s how much electric charge
flows through it?
c) Calculate the power developed by the circuit.
d) In 2 minutes, how much energy would the circuit consume?

14. The unit of electrical energy, the kW.h is commonly used


because:
A. the Joule is too small an amount to be practical.
B. the kW.h is more accurate for measuring energy usage.
C. most electrical meters are scaled in kW.h.
D. the kW.h is the standard S.I. unit.
15. Which diagram shows correctly the direction of conventional
current in the wire, and the magnetic field around it?
(in each case the wire is vertically in/out of page)

21.(8 marks)
In the circuit shown, the power
source provides 12.0 V e.m.f.

a) What reading would you


expect on voltmeter V3?
b) Calculate the resistance of R.
c)Find the current flow through:
i) A1 ii) A2
iii) AT

8.00

2.50

R
0.25 A

16. Although only 2 wires are needed for an electric circuit, most
household wiring contains 3 wires. The 3rd wire is for:
A. extra power to be supplied if needed.
B. connection to earth in case of a fault.
C. a fuse wire, to protect against overload.
D. connection to a circuit breaker to prevent fires.

22. (5 marks)
Sketch a circuit diagram containing 2 light bulbs powered by a
D.C. battery. The lights must be able to be switched on & off
independently. An ammeter is positioned to record the total
current of the circuit, and a voltmeter must be positioned to
measure the P.D. for one of the bulbs.

Longer Response Questions

23. (4 marks)
How long (time) would it take for a 240 V toaster, with resistance
of 64.0 ohm to consume 2.00x104 joules of energy?

Mark values given are suggestions only, and are to give you an idea
of how detailed an answer is appropriate.

24. (3 marks)
The diagram shows a simple electromagnet in an electric circuit.

17. (3 marks)
Give a brief outline of how the main sources of domestic energy
have changed over time.
18. (3 marks)
Calculate the force on a charge of 3.95x10-3C placed in an electric
field of magnitude 7.55x104NC-1.
19. (6 marks)
Using the circuit shown, the voltage and current readings were
recorded for a variety of power
settings.
Results:
Voltage(V) Current (A)
6.5
1.5
8.2
2.0
10.4
2.4
12.6
2.8

a) Mark on the diagram with an arrow, the direction of flow of


conventional current if the switch was closed.
b) Sketch the shape of the magnetic field produced.
c) Indicate clearly the polarity of the magnetic field.

25. (3 marks)
Outline one application of electromagnets in
appliance.

a) Graph these results appropriately.


b) Use your graph to find a resistance value for R.
c) Would you describe R as ohmic or non-ohmic?
Explain your answer.

a household

26. (2 marks)
Explain the purpose & operation of a fuse.

Remember that for full marks


in calculations, you need to show
FORMULA, NUMERICAL SUBSTITUTION,
APPROPRIATE PRECISION and UNITS
Preliminary Physics Topic 2
copyright 2005-2007
keep it simple science

23

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