# Section 1: Electric Charge

• Positive and Negative Charge

• The center of an atom contains protons and neutrons. Electrons swarm around the atom’s center.

• Protons and electrons have electric charge, and neutrons have no electric charge.

• Protons have positive electric charge and electrons have negative electric charge.

• The amount of positive charge on a proton equals the amount of negative charge on an electron.

• An atom contains equal numbers of protons and electrons, so the positive and negative charges cancel out and an atom has no net electric charge.

• Objects with no net charge are said to be electrically neutral.

• Electrons are bound more tightly to some atoms and molecules.

• Static Electricity: The accumulation of excess electric charge on an object

• Law of Conservation of Charge: charge can be transferred from object to object, but it cannot be created or destroyed.

• Positive and negative charges exert forces on each other.

• Just as for two electric charges, the force between any two objects that are electrically charged decreases as the objects get farther apart.

• This force also depends on the amount of charge on each object.

• Surrounding every electric charge is an electric field that exerts forces on other electric charges.

• Any charge that is placed in an electric field will be pushed or pulled by the field.

• All atoms are held together by electric forces between protons and electrons that are tremendously larger than the gravitational forces between the same particles.

• Conductors and Insulators

• Conductor: A material in which electrons are able to move easily

• The best electrical conductors are metals.

• Insulator: A material in which electrons are not able to move easily

• Most plastics are insulators

• The plastic coating around wires is an insulator. A damaged electrical cord is hazardous when the conducting wire is exposed.

• Rubbing two materials together can result in a transfer of electrons.

• Charging By Contact: The process of transferring charge by touching or rubbing

• Because electrical forces act at a distance, charged objects brought near a neutral object will cause electrons to rearrange their positions on the neutral object.

• Charging By Induction: The rearrangement of electrons on a neutral object caused by a nearby charged object

• Lightning is a large static discharge.

• A static discharge is a transfer of charge between two objects because of a buildup of static electricity.

• The sensitive electronics in a computer can be harmed by large static discharges.

• Connecting an object to Earth with a conductor is called grounding.

• Detecting Electric Charge

• The presence of electric charges can be detected by an electroscope.

# Section 2: Electric Current

• Current and Voltage Differences

• When a spark jumps between your hand and a metal doorknob, electric charges move quickly from one place to another.

• Electric Current: The net movement of electric charges in a single direction

• In a metal wire, or any material, electrons are in constant motion in all directions.

• Electric current is measured in amperes.

• The movement of an electron in an electric current is similar to a ball bouncing down a flight of stairs.

• Voltage Difference: related to the force that causes electric charges to flow.

• Voltage difference is measured in volts.

• Water or electric current will flow continually only through a closed loop. If any part of the loop is broken or disconnected, the flow stops.

• Circuit: A closed path that electric current follows

• Batteries

• Chemical reactions in batteries produce a voltage difference between the positive and negative terminals.

• A battery can provide the voltage difference that is needed to keep current flowing in a circuit.

• A cell consists of two electrodes surrounded by a material called an electrolyte.

• The electrolyte enables charges to move from one electrode to the other.

• The electrolyte is a moist paste containing several chemicals.

• The cell is called a dry cell because the electrolyte is a moist paste, and not a liquid solution.

• When the two terminals of a dry-cell battery are connected in a circuit, such as in a flashlight, a reaction involving zinc and several chemicals in the paste occurs.

• A wet cell contains two connected plates made of different metals or metallic compounds in a conducting solution.

• A wet-cell battery contains several wet cells connected together.

• Most car batteries are lead-acid batteries.

• A lead-acid battery contains a series of six wet cells made up of lead and lead dioxide plates in a sulfuric acid solution.

• A voltage difference is provided at electrical outlets, such as a wall socket.

• Resistance: the tendency for a material to oppose the flow of electrons, changing electrical energy into thermal energy and light.

• Flashlights use dry-cell batteries to provide the electric current that lights a lightbulb.

• Electric current loses energy as it moves through the filament because the filament resists the flow of electrons.

• Electrical conductors have much less resistance than insulators.

• Resistance is measured in ohms (Ω).

• Copper is an excellent conductor and has low resistance to the flow of electrons.

• The electric resistance of most materials usually increases as the temperature of the material increases.

• The Current in a Simple Circuit

• A simple electric circuit contains a source of voltage difference, such as a battery, a device, such as lightbulb, that has resistance, and conductors that connect the device to the battery terminals.

• The amount of current flowing through a circuit is related to the amount of resistance in the circuit.

• The voltage difference, current, and resistance in a circuit are related.

• Ohm’s Law: the current in a circuit equals the voltage difference divided by the resistance.

• Ohm’s law provides a way to measure the resistance of objects and materials.

• An object is connected to a source of voltage difference and the current flowing in the circuit is measured. The object’s resistance then equals the voltage difference divided by the measured current.

# Section 3: Electrical Energy

• Series and Parallel Circuits

• Circuits usually include three components.

• One is a source of voltage difference that can be provided by a battery or an electrical outlet.

• Another is one or more devices that use electrical energy.

• Circuits also include conductors such as wires that connect the devices to the source of voltage difference to form a closed path.

• Series Circuit: Current has only one loop to flow through

• Series circuits are used in flashlights and some holiday lights.

• When any part of a series circuit is disconnected, no current flows through the circuit. This is called an open circuit.

• Parallel Circuits: contain two or more branches for current to move through.

• Parallel circuits have several advantages.

• When one branch of the circuit is opened, such as when you turn a light off, the current continues to flow through the other branches.

• Household Circuits

• The wiring in a house must allow for the individual use of various appliances and fixtures.

• Parallel circuits branch out from the breaker or fuse box to wall sockets, major appliances, and lights.

• In a house, many appliances draw current from the same circuit.

• When you hear that somebody has “blown a fuse,” it means that the person has lost his or her temper. This expression comes from the function of an electrical fuse which contains a small piece of metal that melts if the current becomes too high.

• A circuit breaker is another device that prevents a circuit from overheating and causing a fire.

• Electric Power: The rate at which electrical energy is converted to another form of energy

• The reason that electricity is so useful is that electrical energy is converted easily to other types of energy.

• Appliances that have electric heating elements, such as ovens and hair dryers, usually use more electric power than other appliances.

• The electric power used depends on the voltage difference and the current.

• The unit for power is the watt (W).

• The cost of using the appliance can be computed by multiplying the electrical energy used by the amount the power company charges for each kWh.