# Chapter 13: Electricity

## Section 1: Electric Charge

• Positive and Negative Charge

• Atoms contain particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons.

• 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

• 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.

• The force between any two objects that are electrically charged decreases as the objects get farther apart.

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

• Many of the forces that act on objects are due to the electric forces between atoms and molecules

• The frictional force between two surfaces in contact is due to the attractive electric forces between the atoms on the two surfaces.

• Conductors and Insulators

• As you walk across a carpeted floor, excess electrons can accumulate on your body. When you reach for a metal doorknob, electrons flow from your hand to the doorknob and you see a spark.

• 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

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

• Charging Objects

• 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.

• A thundercloud is a mighty generator of static electricity.

• The electrical energy in a lightning bolt rips electrons off atoms in the air and produces great amounts of thermal energy.

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

• Earth is a large, neutral object that is also a conductor of charge.

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

• A lightning rod directs the charge from a lightning bolt safely to the ground.

• Detecting Electric Charge

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

• If a glass rod is rubbed with silk, electrons move away from the atoms in the glass rod and build up on the silk.

## Section 2: Electric Current

• Current and Voltage Difference

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

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

• Electric current is measured in amperes.

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

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

• Electric forces in a material cause electric current to flow.

• 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

• 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.

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

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

• 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.

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

• As electrons move through the filament in a lightbulb, they bump into metal atoms. Due to the collisions, the metal heats up and starts to glow.

• 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 that has resistance, such as a lightbulb, 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.

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

## 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.

• To use electrical energy, a complete circuit must be made.

• Series Circuit: the current has only one loop to flow through

• A series circuit provides only one path for the current to follow.

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

• In parallel circuits, the current follows more than one path.

• The current can flow through both or either of the branches.

• Houses, automobiles, and most electrical systems use parallel wiring so individual parts can be turned off without affecting the entire circuit.

• Household Circuits

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

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

• To protect against overheating of the wires, all household circuits contain either a fuse or a circuit breaker.

• Too many appliances in use at the same time is the most likely cause of the overheating of the circuit.

• A circuit breaker contains a piece of metal that bends when the current in it is so large that it gets hot. The bending causes a switch to flip and open the circuit, stopping the flow of current.

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

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

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

• Electrical Power Equation: electrical power (in watts) = current (in amperes) X voltage difference (in volts)

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