The study of the presence and flow of electric charge. Charges, currents, fields, potentials.

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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 ...
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2answers
2k views

Path of least resistance vs. short circuit

Some sources on the web claim that "electricity follows the path of least resistance" is not true, e.g. this physics SE question. However, in every explanation of "short circuits", the author says ...
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2answers
444 views

Drawing electric field lines-Equations or software

Shown below in the diagram are two conducting material connected to a battery source and vacuum OR air is in between them. There will be charges developed on their surfaces. I am interested in finding ...
0
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0answers
71 views

What is the relationship between strain and electric current?

Strain or stress can be caused by different sources. I categorized theses sources as mechanical, thermal and electrical loads and formulated the total stress as follows: $$ \epsilon_{total} = ...
2
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1answer
410 views

Is there a way to electrically shock a person who is inside a Faraday cage?

I learned last semester that a Faraday cage shields people (among other things) from getting electrically shock, say, from a tesla coil. This was well demonstrated in lecture so I believe it. The ...
0
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1answer
64 views

What would happen if you attached a wire to an electrically charged sphere?

If you have a sphere covered in electrons, and you connected a copper wire to it, what would happen? The copper wire's other end is not connected to anything and assume that the copper wire is ...
6
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6answers
2k views

Why does electricity need wires to flow?

If you drop a really heavy ball the ball's gravitational potential energy will turn into kinetic energy. If you place the same ball in the pool, the ball will still fall. A lot of kinetic energy will ...
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2answers
2k views

Why do circuits work so fast?

Drift velocity (explained to me as how fast the electrons are moving) is really slow. My book says the electrons move at around 10 mm/ s. If electrons move so slowly how do circuits work so fast? If ...
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1answer
194 views

Do we need infinite energy to make 2 similar charges touch only in theory?

By Coulomb's law, say if we have 2 point particles each having a charge of +1C then by the formula, F = k/(d)^2 if we need to make the distance between them zero, clearly y the formula, we need to ...
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0answers
219 views

Projects for a physics club [closed]

It's a physics club for undergraduates (first three years of university); I'm looking for projects idea that aren't too obvious like a small rocket or an electromagnet (school projects) but also not ...
0
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1answer
4k views

Why does pushing a magnet inside a solenoid produce current?

If you push a bar magnet inside a solenoid, a current is produced. But why is that? I mean, the wire is being moved along the magnetic field, so taking the cross product: $\vec{F} = ...
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2answers
2k views

Why does the thickness of a wire affect resistance?

For small thicknesses of wire, it's pretty obvious why resistance affects thickness. (The electronics squeeze to get through). But after a certain thickness shouldn't the thickness become irrelevant? ...
1
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1answer
4k views

How to find the direction of the magnetic field for an infinite conducting wire?

We've got two long straight wires carrying current of 5A and placed along x and y axis respectively current flows in direction of positive axes we have to find magnetic field at a) (1 m,1 m) b) (-1 ...
11
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2answers
650 views

Why does a cathode have to be heated to emit electrons?

Considering that electrons are highly mobile inside of a metal, why do they have such a tough time getting out at the edge of it and continuing their trip ballistically?
4
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2answers
156 views

Applicability of the concept of voltage in electrodynamic circuits

In electrostatics, we have $$\nabla \times \vec{E} = 0$$. Hence, we can define a scalar potential $V$, where $$\vec{E} = -\nabla V$$. We know from Faraday's law that $$\nabla \times \vec{E} = ...
0
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1answer
102 views

What type of magnetic fields does a Hall effect semi-conductor pick up on?

What type of magnetic fields does a Hall effect semi-conductor pick up on? AC or DC fields? How would one go about building a device that measures AC Magnetic fields?
0
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1answer
169 views

Are two touching conductors connected in parallel or in series?

Consider the following problem: There are two spherical conductors $A, B$, with capacitances $C_A, C_B$ resp. Conductor $A$ is supplied some charge and is found to have a potential of $160 \space V$. ...
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2answers
160 views

In which direction should flow of electric current be taken while solving problems?

Consider a simple circuit with a battery of $\theta\ \text V$s, and two resistors of $R_1 \ \Omega$s and $R_2\ \Omega$s connected in series. Let us assume that $R_1$ is connected nearer to the ...
0
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2answers
446 views

Is current related to the length of the conductor?

Ohm's Law tells us that $V = IR$. This implies that $I \propto \frac{1}{R}$. But, $R \propto l$, where l is the length of the conductor. This would mean that $I \propto \frac{1}{l}$. But this does not ...
0
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1answer
401 views

Derive that $P = I^2R$

As our homework, we were asked to derive $P = I^2R$. Now, I started off with the basic relation $P = \frac{W}{T}$. I was not able to think of anything from here, so I started plugging in random ...
0
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1answer
139 views

There is no electricity at home,I need to light a 15W CFL Bulb.Can I Do it with the help of a hamster? [closed]

We know that i)avg speed of A Hamster is 30km/hr. ii)Avg mass of hamster is 1.5 kg. From the above info: Kinetic energy=1/2 X mass X velocity^2 So, K.E=1/2 x 1.5 x 30 x 30 ...
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2answers
354 views

Elementary (fundamental) properties in electricity

I tend to believe that there are two elementary properties in electricity: Electric charge Coulomb's force I think that I can express any other entity in electricity using just these two (by means ...
1
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1answer
103 views

Single directional electric field insulator?

Is there any material, (kind of like a one way mirror), which allows an Electric Field to pass through from one direction, but not from the other? Thanks. Edit: As Ali has pointed out, one way ...
0
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1answer
797 views

Electric field from conductive to dielectric media

I am interested in the main difference between transitions from electric fields from Conductive to Conductive/ Dielectric to Dielectric and Dielectric/Conductive media. What are the boundary ...
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0answers
80 views

Electric field screening for arbitrarily formed charge

if I have a not necessarily homogenous electric field of a charge distribution in an electrolyte and i want to find out what the electric field at some position in the electrolyte is. is there any ...
1
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2answers
111 views

potential energy of a dipole?

The very popular from of potential energy of the dipole is $-P.E$. But in the derivation of it, we have negelected the potential energy of the pair of charges constituting the dipole. will this not ...
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1answer
817 views

Dielectric with polar molecules

Suppose a dielectric slab contains polar molecules (which are not further polarisable). When placed in an electric field, (for simplicity, an uniform field), align themselves according to the field. ...
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1answer
1k views

Dipole moment induced in a spherical particle

Consider a spherical metal particle made out of gold. If there is an external charge somewhere near the gold particle, is there a way to calculate the resulting dipole moment that is induced by the ...
5
votes
5answers
5k views

Does current flow back to the source through earth?

We know that if Single Line to Fault occurs, then fault current flows to the earth. I want to know whether the current will return to the source or not. For the current to flow we need a closed path. ...
0
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2answers
1k views

What is the speed of electrical current in salt water?

I am wondering about a specific question regarding the speed at which an electrical current traverses through salt-water / saline. By this I do not mean the electron drift speed - I mean, at what ...
5
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2answers
907 views

why is a resistor frequency independent

I had a doubt that why is a resistor, frequency independent? Since, as frequency increases the movement of electrons increases so heat increases which causes change in resistance. So my question is ...
0
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1answer
247 views

Electrons drift velocity and capacitors

My friend said this to me and just want to make sure this is right " when we connect the a battery to a LED and the 2 poles are connected, electrons flow from the (-) to the (+) but with very low ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does lightning emit light?

What exactly is causing the electric discharge coming from the clouds to emit light while traveling through the air. I've read and thought about it a little but with my current knowledge I cant really ...
0
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2answers
307 views

scaling of motor power

For car engines, the cylinder volume is often associated with the engine power, which suggests scaling of the power as $L^3$ where L is the linear size. Consider a system consisting of a motor and its ...
2
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3answers
337 views

How much iron ware to make a Faraday cage

In a thunderstorm I was thinking the following: suppose I am rowing in a lake during a thunderstorm. How big a Faraday cage do I need to make to protect myself? If lightning strikes the cage, will it ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Fermi level alignment and electrochemical potential between two metals

I'm trying to get a more intuitive/physical grasp of the Fermi level, like I have of electric potential. I know that, for just a single piece of metal in equilibrium, you have to have the electric ...
0
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0answers
128 views

Taking length/area element when trying to find E.resistance

I am trying to find out which 'element to take' (and why), When trying to find the resistance of some material with non-uniform resistivity $\rho$. I'll give an example: Say we have a co-axial cable ...
1
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1answer
534 views

Electric power for current density

The electric power produced by a current $I\in\mathbb{R}^+$ and a voltage $V\in\mathbb{R}^+$ is $$ P = IV. $$ Now the current is given as an (alternating) current density ...
-3
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3answers
129 views

Current flows which way? [closed]

Current flows through a resistor (with no direction since it is not a vector/can flow from any potential)? I thinks it is with no direction since it is not a vector. Is that right?
2
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3answers
2k views

Current Through a Circuit with an 8 Resistor Setup

The following is a question from a practice Physics GRE exam (found online at ETS's website). The circuit shown in the figure consists of eight resistors, each with resistance R, and a battery ...
2
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1answer
790 views

Question regarding Drift velocity in general?

The derivation of drift velocity in case of electrons is equivalent to the case of an charged ionic gas and therefore all the arguments also apply there. Now for an ideal "ionic" gas which interacts ...
2
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1answer
145 views

Clarification on the Seebeck Effect

Alright, I've been interested in the Seebeck effect lately, so I've been trying to learn it. From what I understand, this is measured with the Seebeck Coefficient, which gives you the $\mu\textrm{V}$ ...
2
votes
2answers
422 views

Potential difference with an inductor

As far as I know, the potential difference between two points is defined as the negative line integral of electric field between those 2 points: $$\Delta V=-\int d \ell\cdot\mathbf E$$ I also know ...
2
votes
2answers
373 views

Why do electrons drift in an ideal conductor, since there's no field?

Suppose a simple circuit with a DC voltage source and a resistor. The voltage of the source will be situated over the resistor. So the electric field (which is the gradient of the potential) will be ...
0
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0answers
11k views

Why do current and electrons flow in opposite directions? [duplicate]

In representing an electric circuit, we would draw the sense of the current from the positive to the negative pole and the electrons from the negative to the positive . But as I know electrons' motion ...
2
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0answers
51 views

Is it possible to generate usable electricity from the motion or magnetic field of the Earth? [duplicate]

Let me start by saying that my knowledge of physics is almost nil (only high school level and I pretty much forgot everything) so bear with me, if I am asking naive questions the answers of which may ...
2
votes
2answers
293 views

Battery and current confusion?

How exactly does a battery produce a current in the circuit connected across its ends? I dont want to know the chemical reactions in the battery core, but just the essence of it. I believe it doesn't ...
0
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2answers
117 views

Need an intermediate resistivity part/material

I need a part or material for a planned experiment (the experiment is similar to those described in my articles http://arxiv.org/abs/1208.0066 and http://arxiv.org/abs/1109.1626 ). The problem is that ...
0
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1answer
1k views

Charging by induction (and grounding)?

The very familiar phenomenon of charging by induction includes bringing a charged object near an uncharged sphere to induce a separation of charges in it and then grounding the charge (same as the ...
0
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0answers
40 views

Experimental study of the Photoelectric effect [duplicate]

As I was reading about the experimental arrangement for photoelectric effect, I saw a diagram that puzzled my knowledge of electrodes. I found that in the experimental setup the cathode of the ...