An electronic system, with closed loop current flow, and relative electrical potentials present across electrical components.

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Does alternating current (AC) require a complete circuit?

This popular question about "whether an AC circuit with one end grounded to Earth and the other end grounded to Mars would work (ignoring resistance/inductance of the wire)" was recently asked on the ...
4
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3answers
11k views

Equivalent resistance in ladder circuit [closed]

I have stumbled upon a given question I really have a hard time to solve. Basically I need to find an equivalent resistance in some form of "ladder" configuration. Where the chain is an infinite ...
16
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11answers
20k views

What is the difference between electric potential, potential difference (PD), voltage and electromotive force (EMF)?

This is a confused part ever since I started learning electricity. What is the difference between electric potential, potential difference (PD), voltage and electromotive force (EMF)? All of them have ...
16
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3answers
101k views

Why do we use Root Mean Square (RMS) values when talking about AC voltage

What makes it a good idea to use RMS rather than peak values of current and voltage when we talk about or compute with AC signals.
7
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2answers
2k views

Why doesn't the electric field inside a wire in a circuit fall off with distance from the battery?

We studied electric fields due to point charges. The magnitude of these fields decreases with the square of the distance from the point charge. It seems to me that we could treat the positive ...
9
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3answers
20k views

What happens when we connect a metal wire between the 2 poles of a battery?

As I remembered, at the 2 poles of a battery, positive or negative electric charges are gathered. So there'll be electric field existing within the battery. This filed is neutralized by the chemical ...
21
votes
2answers
4k views

The “Nerd Sniping” problem. Generalizations?

This question is motivated by this xkcd comic strip . The problem is indeed interesting, and my first recollection upon reading this was a similar problem in the book Problems in General Physics by I....
9
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5answers
9k views

Resistor circuit that isn't parallel or series

What's the equivalent resistance in this circuit (between points A and B)?
15
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8answers
41k views

Electricity takes the path of least resistance?

Electricity takes the path of least resistance! Is this statement correct? If so, why is it the case? If there are two paths available, and one, for example, has a resistor, why would the ...
4
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2answers
3k views

Why is the voltage drop across an ideal wire zero?

I'm having trouble conceptualizing why the voltage drop between two points of an ideal wire (i.e. no resistance) is $0~V$. Using Ohm's Law, the equation is such: $$ V = IR \\ V = I(0~\Omega) \\ V = 0$...
3
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5answers
21k views

Current in series resistors and voltage drop in parallel resistors

When we have resistors in series, the current through all the resistors is same and the voltage drop (or simply voltage) at each resistor is different. Question 1: It is fine that voltage drop (...
1
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1answer
7k views

Current against the inverse of resistance graph, $I = V/R +c$

If I have a plot of current ($y$ axis) against 1/Resistance ($x$ axis). The circuit it is measured from is a simply 2 resistors connected in parallel to battery, where the potential across the ...
10
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3answers
708 views

Current in a simple circuit

I was going over my notes for an introductory course to electricity and magnetism and was intrigued by something I don't have an answer to. I remember my professor mentioning, to the best I can ...
2
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2answers
147 views

Ambiguity on the notion of potential in electrical circuits?

As everybody else I have been taught elementary electrical circuits from secondary school to engineering level in analog electronics at university. Invariably, the notion of potential used to ...
65
votes
2answers
45k views

On this infinite grid of resistors, what's the equivalent resistance?

I searched and couldn't find it on the site, so here it is (quoted to the letter): On this infinite grid of ideal one-ohm resistors, what's the equivalent resistance between the two marked nodes? ...
47
votes
7answers
7k views

Cyclist's electrical tingling under power lines

It's been happening to me for years. I finally decided to ask users who are better with "practical physics" when I was told that my experience – that I am going to describe momentarily – prove that I ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Pn junction voltage drop?

This image from wikipedia, explains that there occurs a potential drop across a pn semiconductor junction, and an electric field confined to the depletion region. I already know the reason for the ...
9
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6answers
42k views

In an alternating current, do electrons flow from the source to the device?

If electrons in an alternating current periodically reverse their direction, do they really flow? Won't they always come back to the same position?
7
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6answers
15k views

What would be the effective resistance of the ladder of resistors having n steps

I'm a tutor. This is a high school level problem. In high school, every one have might have solved a problem of effective resistance of a ladder of resistors having infinite steps. Now the problem is ...
5
votes
4answers
19k views

Is it possible to flow current in open circuit?

As I know a battery is an example of a closed circuit where it can then produce electricity , electrons will flow from negative pole to positive. A chemistry representation of this battery is for ...
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4answers
856 views

Voltage drop along an idealized resistance-free wire in a circuit?

If you connected the positive terminal of a battery to the negative terminal to a battery with a wire with (hypothetically) no resistance, and are asked to give the voltage drop of a segment of wire ...
9
votes
7answers
18k views

Does a current carrying wire produce electric field outside?

In the modern texts of electromagnetism in the presence of stationary currents the electric field is assumed conservative $\nabla \times E =0 $. Using this we get $E_{||}^{out}=E_{||}^{in}$ which ...
9
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7answers
16k views

What is Electromotive force (EMF)? How is it related to potential difference?

What is Electromotive force (EMF)? How is it related to the potential difference? Is it created by the potential difference in any conductor? Is it a process? Why is it called force? Does writing EMF ...
5
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4answers
15k views

Detecting if resistances are parallel or series in complex circuits

I know how to detect when resistors are arranged in parallel or series arrangement and I can also find their equivalent resistance in simple circuits or when resistances are connected in form of ...
14
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5answers
9k views

How can Ohm's law be correct if superconductors have 0 resistivity?

Ohm's law states that the relationship between current ( I ) voltage ( V ) and resistance ( R ) is $$I = \frac{V}{R}$$ However superconductors cause the resistance of a material to go to zero, and ...
2
votes
4answers
443 views

Justification of root mean square [duplicate]

In the top answer to the question Why do we use Root Mean Square (RMS) values when talking about AC voltage, the following was stated: This RMS is a mathematical quantity (used in many math fields)...
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5answers
617 views

Ohm's Law Intuition

When we derive Ohm's Law using the Drude Model, we assume at one point of time that $E=V/L$, when is fact, $E=dV/dL$, unless $E$ is constant, in which case the assumption $E=V/L$ is true. But I don't ...
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2answers
315 views

Steady-State Current

I am in the process of completing some homework and have come across a question that says: "What is the steady-state current?" It is asking in reference to a circuit that includes two capacitors in ...
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2answers
50 views

What is the physical interpretation of Power Spectral Density (PSD) in optical tweezer?

For the calibration of an optical tweezer, the PSD of position values are plotted. If it follows a certain behavior having two regions - free diffusion and potential limited regions, then the trap is ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Direction of Magnetic force from a current running through a coil of wire

What is the direction is the magnetic force vectors pointing from a coil of wire that has current running through it? http://www.ndt-ed.org/EducationResources/CommunityCollege/MagParticle/Graphics/...
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4answers
683 views

Determine which circuits are parallel and which are in series

I need to find the Equivalent Resistance across A and B. The problem is, I don't know which one's are in series and which ones are in parallel. How do I identify which ones are parallel or series?
11
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8answers
3k views

How do electrons “know” to share their voltage between two resistors?

My physics teacher explained the difference between voltage and current using sandwiches. Each person gets a bag full of sandwiches when they pass through the battery. Current = the number of people ...
-6
votes
3answers
17k views

Why current through all the resistors in series is considered to be same? [duplicate]

Consider the circuit shown, where $R_{1} > R_{2}$. I meant to say that resistance offered by the resistor 1 is greater than the resistance offered by the resistor 2. Keep $t$ constant i,e calculate ...
7
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1answer
2k views

How can I put a permanent current into a superconducting loop?

I know that you can use induction to create a current in a superconducting loop, but this only works as long as the coil that induces the field has a current flowing through it. And obviously, this ...
4
votes
3answers
452 views

Voltage drop = more electrons on one side of resistor

I have been asking myself this question for a long time now. Suppose we have two resistors in series connected to a voltage source. Simply put, does the voltage drop on each resistor mean that there ...
2
votes
4answers
6k views

Capacitor Charging and Discharging when connected to the ground

When we charge a capacitor using a battery and then remove the battery, the plates of capacitor becomes charged. One holds positive charge and the other one gets equal negative charge. o. k. ? Now ...
1
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1answer
119 views

Help me understand static electricity

This is what I understand about electricity: (The following information is paraphrased from the book CODE by Charles Petzold.) Atoms are made up of protons, electrons and neutrons. Protons and ...
9
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3answers
10k views

Is it safe to use any wireless device during a lightning storm?

I need "educated" reasons whether it is safe to use any wireless device during a lightning storm. Most people said don't use it but they cannot explain why.
5
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4answers
14k views

If a superconductor has zero resistance, does it have infinite amperage?

If amps = volts / ohms, and ohms is 0, then what is x volts / 0 ohms?
4
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1answer
30k views

What is the role of center-tapping in a full wave rectifier?

Note: I have already tried googling. Although similar questions have been asked on different forums, I couldn't find a detailed explanation, which I could really understand. Circuit diagram ...
3
votes
4answers
3k views

Is a capacitor in an open circuit charged?

Say I have a circuit consisting of a battery, a wire, an open switch, and a capacitor. The circuit is open since the switch is open. My book says that the capacitor will only be charged when the ...
2
votes
5answers
6k views

Difference between live and neutral wires

In domestic electrical circuits, there are 3 wires - live, earth and neutral. What is the difference between the live and neutral wires? As there is AC supply, it means that there are no fixed ...
2
votes
3answers
411 views

Is there charge build up before a resistor?

I understand that Kirchhoff's current law says that the current, $I$, is constant throughout a resistor, i.e. there is no build up of charge in a resistor. All charge going in to the resistor is the ...
1
vote
2answers
315 views

Why isn't resistance proportional to distance squared

Here we have a wire. At both ends there is an equal and opposite field caused by a chemical reaction. So, if we decrease or increase the distance between the two points, the strength of the field ...
1
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5answers
38k views

Why does voltage remains same over Parallel Circuit

Why does voltage remains same over parallel circuit. If a resistor is connected in the circuit some of the charge should be transformed into heat and make a lack of charge after the resistor (in my ...
0
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1answer
133 views

Impedance of the infinitely long circuit

Is there a way to find impedance of the infinite circuit like this? It will be much simpler if one has either parallel or series combination but here is both.
5
votes
4answers
40k views

Why does connecting a battery's positive terminal to the negative terminal of another battery not create a short circuit?

This is a question regarding the physics behind the observation. I have guessed the answer to the question, but I may be wrong, so I want to wait for the responses before posting it. Some major ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Relating milliampere-hours to watt-hours for batteries

I've seen many batteries that are measured in milliampere hours (mAh), while others are measured in watt hours (wh). How can I convert them between each other so that I can actually compare them? It's ...
3
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1answer
335 views

Why is the anode (+) in a device that consumes power & (-) in one that provides power?

I was trying to figure out the flow of electrons in a battery connected to a circuit. Conventionally, current is from the (+) terminal to the (-) terminal of the battery. Realistically it flows the ...
2
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3answers
5k views

Magnitude of magnetic field at the center of circular wire

I'm preparing for an exam by solving the sample questions , here is the one I'm having difficulty with : Following is the given circuit. Which contains two resistance $R_1$ and $R_2$ in form of ...