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

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326 views

Why does electric field intensity $E$ can be uniquely determined by its divergence and curl? [duplicate]

My question is, the number of following equations $$\nabla\cdot E=\frac{\rho}{\varepsilon}$$ $$\nabla\times E=-\frac{\partial B}{\partial t}$$ is 4 while the number of unknown variables ...
6
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6answers
16k views

Why does my wife's skin buzz when she's using her laptop?

When my wife uses her laptop, if I touch her skin, I can feel a buzz. She doesn't feel the buzz, but she can hear it if I touch her ear. So I'm guessing it's a faulty laptop, and she's conducting an ...
3
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1answer
237 views

Could we build a super computer out of wires and switches instead of a microchip?

I thought of this question; would too much wiring make a computer burn down? Or can you build an actual full-speed supercomputer computer using switches and wires? In other words, could simply adding ...
3
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5answers
665 views

Why doesn't an electron accelerate in a circuit?

Why don't electrons accelerate when a voltage is applied between two points in in a circuit? All the textbooks I've referred conveyed the meaning that when an electron traveled from negative potential ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
12
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3answers
809 views

Why are materials that are better at conducting electricity also proportionately better at conducting heat?

It seems like among the electrical conductors there's a relationship between the ability to conduct heat as well as electricity. Eg: Copper is better than aluminum at conducting both electricity and ...
5
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2answers
624 views

What happens if you connect a hot resistor to a cold resistor?

Kind of an extension to this question: If you heat up an object, and put it in contact with a colder object, in an ideal insulated box, the heat from one will transfer to the other through thermal ...
4
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1answer
334 views

Does light induce an electric current in a conductor?

I know that electromagnetic waves induce electric currents in conductors and that's the basis for radio, wi-fi etc. I also know that light is also an electromagnetic wave. So, can light induce a ...
4
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2answers
2k views

How can a conductor be grounded yet there are induced charges on it?

A classic example for the method of images is the following, quoted from Griffiths's Introduction to Electrodynamics, page 121: "Suppose a point charge $q$ is held a distance $d$ above an infinite ...
4
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4answers
3k views

Is a signal traveling through fiber faster than a signal traveling through copper?

Does the transmission medium affect the speed of a signal? For instance does light traveling through a fiber cable get a bit from A => B faster than copper can transmit a bit the over the same ...
3
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2answers
482 views

Why are electrons defined to have negative charge? [duplicate]

We normally think of the "default" or "root" state of things as being on the positive side of the spectrum. For example, we don't normally use a + symbol to ...
2
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1answer
644 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 ...
2
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2answers
225 views

What are the current possibilities for large-scale storage of electrical energy?

I'm curious as to how large-scale electrical storage is managed now, how much they can store, how well they scale and for how long (and what is their loss rate). (I'm not asking about technological ...
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2answers
311 views

Questions about voltage

For some reason, I feel like the concept of voltage is escaping my grasp. I've done much research on these forums and through texts, and come across answers that seem quite well thought out, but still ...
1
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1answer
105 views

What is meant by boiling off electrons in a heater coil?

In my electricity and magnetism course, we used a Thompson tube to produce an electron beam. There is a heating element at the back of the tube and the lab manual claims that "electrons are boiled ...
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5answers
4k 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 ...
12
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5answers
3k 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 ...
9
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3answers
2k views

Where does the electricity, generated by a solar panel, go if you don't use the electricity?

I'm sorry if this question is too trivial for this Q&A forum. I am a layman when it comes to physics (though I did cover the high-school physics courses). I was wondering what happens to the ...
7
votes
5answers
488 views

Why were the SI base quantities chosen as such?

The reasons for choosing length, mass, time, temperature, and amount as base quantities look (at least to me) obvious. What I'm puzzling about is why current (as opposed to resistance, electromotive ...
6
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2answers
136 views

Will I get a shock when I try to use my hair-dryer under water?

Occasionally people get killed in their bathtubs by having an electrical device such as a hair-dryer take the bath with them - in movies. It seems to be a common belief that this is realistic, even ...
6
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5answers
604 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 ...
6
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2answers
4k views

What causes fluorescent light bulb to light up when it is near a plasma globe? Can this phenomenon be used to generate electricity in a circuit?

When a fluorescent light bulb is placed near a plasma globe, despite the fact there isn't a closed circuit, a part of the light blulb would light up. I tried measuring the voltage of the air ...
5
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4answers
800 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. ...
4
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2answers
155 views

Voltage in a circuit

Suppose I have a following circuit: I do not understand, why the potential difference between the points $c$ and $d$ is equal to the potential difference between the points $b$ and $a$? That is, ...
4
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1answer
1k views

How Special Relativity causes magnetism

So my physics teacher assigned us an article about how special relativity causes magnetism in a wire with a current, even with the low drift velocities of electrons in a current. It seemed that the ...
4
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1answer
828 views

General integral to find resistance

My question is: is there a simple and truly general equation for the resistance between two electrical equipotential surfaces?. Obviously, if so, what is it, and if not, why? It would be very ...
4
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2answers
424 views

Why do physicists believe protons and electrons are present in equal numbers?

I tended to consider that negative and positive charges are present in equal numbers in the universe to be a known, obvious fact. But is it so? How can we rule out the possibility that there is some ...
4
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5answers
3k views

How can I prevent being zapped by static electricity every time I touch a doorknob or handle in the office?

I don't know what it is about this office, but it seems everything I touch (doorknob, bathroom faucet, edge of kitchen sink in the break room), I get zapped by static electricity. It's getting old. ...
3
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4answers
345 views

How can there be a Current and an Electric field in an idealized wire with no voltage drop?

In an ideal circuit, How can there be a current b/w points a & b, when there is no potential difference and thus no electric field between a & b? If there is no current, then where does ...
3
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1answer
503 views

Electric Field from Dielectric Shell

This is a question taken from a past E&M exam A thick spherical shell (inner radius $R_1$ and outer radius $R_2$) is made of a dielectric material with a "frozen in" polarization ...
3
votes
3answers
162 views

computer vs heater coil comparison

If I have a computer and a heater coil that consume exactly the same amount of energy, which would be more efficient at heating my room? This is assuming that they both have the same fans and heat ...
2
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3answers
147 views

Charge of an electric wire

If an electric current is flowing through an electric wire, can we consider that wire charged? The answer is required with a proof. Can we consider the wire to be charged positively or negatively?
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2answers
233 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 ...
2
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1answer
82 views

Help Understanding Non-conservative Fields

While watching a video lecture, I became uncomfortable with the results, (around 35 mins). The professor draws an electric circuit with a 1V batter, and two resistors (1 and 9 ohms). He then ...
2
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2answers
6k views

Different batteries connected in parallel

If we have 2 batteries one of emf x and the other is of emf y and we connect them in series we get an effective emf of x+y. But what if we connect them in parallel, how to calculate the emf now?
2
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1answer
1k views

Current from induced emf

If the induced emf in a circuit is negative, and current from this emf is the emf over the resistance, what happens to the negative sign in the induced emf when solving for the current? Surely there's ...
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2answers
799 views

how does an electric field comes inside a conducting wire inside the circuit? [duplicate]

This has been a really great confusion for me now .... Many places i have read in books that when a potential difference is applied across the ends of a wire a constant electric field is generated ...
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1answer
79 views

Resistances in a circular loop

I have no idea what formula I'm supposed to use.I just want to know the concept that would allow me to get the answer. I know basic concepts of electricity like charge, currents, etc., but as far ...
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1answer
168 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 ...
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4answers
2k views

Why is the charge transferred by electrons and not by protons?

charges are transferred by electrons which we all know but why it cant but it cant be transferred by protons.Well i searched on google where i found similar questions already being asked on many ...
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1answer
370 views

Excess charge on an insulator and conductor

So I was recently wondering what happens to the excess charge when it is placed on an insulator or conductor e.g. rubbing two objects together. I know in the conductor the electrons are free to move ...
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4answers
4k views

If something has zero resistance, does it have infinite amperage?

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

Why does shorting two cells in series heat them up?

I tried this with two 9V batteries that you can interlock easily and they heat up a lot. Why does this happen? The internal resistance of the batteries would be quite small so why would they still ...
0
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2answers
159 views

Do black holes have charges?

Do black holes have charges? If so, how would they be measured? Also, does electricity behave the same way? Black holes affect photons, which are carriers of EM radiation, so do black holes have any ...
0
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1answer
436 views

Charging Glass Rods

When we rub two glass rods with their respective pieces of silk cloth, the two glass rods would repel each other. What if we rub the glass rod against the other glass rod? Will they repel each other? ...
0
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0answers
59 views

Capacitors discharging in series [duplicate]

If you connect positive plate of a charged capacitor to ground, it doesn't get discharged. Now consider $4$ capacitors of equal capacitance connected in series to a $10\, \mathrm{V}$ battery. Connect ...
0
votes
1answer
561 views

Resonant inductive coupling and Schumann resonances

I was reading about WiTricity (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WiTricity) a technology developed by MIT to wirelessly transmit electricity through resonance, and I have this question: Given the ...
0
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3answers
1k views

Parallel or series connection?

Are C1, C2 and C3 connected in parallel, or C2, C3 in parallel and C1 in series with C23? Btw it appeared as a question in the basic physics Albanian A-levels yesterday. You had to find the ...
0
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1answer
225 views

Tubelights+power lines pictures?

I've come across many pictures like these, sometimes in chain emails reporting the dangers of power lines. Another claim is that they run on "wasted" energy. The explanations given are that the ...
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4answers
1k views

Resistance between two points on a conducting surface

Suppose we have a cylindrical resistor, with resistance given by $R=\rho\cdot l/(\pi r^2)$ Let $d$ be the distance between two points in the interior of the resistor and let $r\gg d\gg l$. Ie. it is ...