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

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Why does an electric motor burn up when you physically stop it?

As an electric motor spins, the energy from the electricity is 'conducted' to the rotor by the magnetic fields. However, when the motor is stopped, the energy becomes heat and burns up to motor. ...
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123 views

A problem of approximation [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why are continuum fluid mechanics accurate when constituents are discrete objects of finite size? When we apply differentiation on charge being conducted with respect to ...
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Would you die if you put your hands on a powerline?

You know how birds perch on powerlines without getting electrocuted? What if by some chance that I find myself falling and I grab on one of them? Let's say both of my hands are on the same line, would ...
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259 views

The Difference Between voltage and current

I know that this question has been asked many times before, and I have read over several of the threads asking this question, but they do not include the gripe I have with my problem of understanding ...
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5answers
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Charging 12V 150Ah battery

I want to charge a 12V battery of 150Ah with a solar panel. The solar panel specs is 12V, 25 Watt. Can anyone please provide me how to calculate that how much time it will take to charge the battery? ...
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194 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 ...
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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 ...
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What kills you: Voltage or Electric current? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What causes an electric shock - Current or Voltage? When someone gets electrocuted, what kills them; a high Voltage or a high Electric current, and why?
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Simulator for electrostatics [closed]

I am searching for a tool that visualizes the electric field/potential for simple electrostatic configurations like conducting/polarized sphere in an uniform electric field conducting/polarized ...
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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 ...
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634 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 ...
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164 views

Question on static electricity & electron transfer

Static electricity is caused by the transfer of electrons between substances right? For example, take a balloon and your hair. Both are stable and electrically neutral. So why would electrons jump ...
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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 ...
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269 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 ...
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1answer
199 views

Conductivity of Aqueous Ionic Solutions as a Function of Time

It is well-known that an aqueous ionic solution can conduct electricity. Let's take the electrolyte NaCl for example. In the diagram below, the circuit consists of a voltage source, a light bulb, and ...
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2answers
85 views

how to model the exponential growth of luminosity when you flick a light on

My original thought was: $$ L = L_0 \left( 1 - e^{-t/\tau} \right) $$ where $L$ = luminosity and $L_0$ = initial luminosity. But when I tested this I found that the time constant $\tau$ was higher ...
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2answers
284 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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1answer
584 views

Electrical flow in a simple parallel circuit

I'm having trouble understanding something in one of my text books: Let’s have a look at the implications of each circuit configuration. Figure 3.13 shows the Conventional representation of a ...
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5answers
780 views

Relativistic charge density in a closed loop

When charges of conductance are at rest, there is an average distance between them. The relativistic origin of magnetic field says that distances between electrons shrink when they are set into a ...
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1answer
660 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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391 views

Electric charge is lorentz invariant

I know that electric charge is lorentz invariant quantity and I can easily think of experiment to check that. Is a though experiment that can prove that also?
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Definition of electric charge and proper explanation

Is there a definition of electric charge and proper explanation of it? It is said "Electric charge is the physical property of matter that causes it to experience a force when close to other ...
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8answers
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Since cables carry electricity moving at the speed of light, why aren't computer networks much faster?

Why can't cables used for computer networking transfer data really fast, say at the speed of light? I ask this because electricity travels at the speed of light. Take Ethernet cables for example, I ...
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7answers
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Does electricity flow on the surface of a wire or in the interior?

I was having a conversation with my father and father-in-law, both of whom are in electric related work, and we came to a point where none of us knew how to proceed. I was under the impression that ...
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5answers
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If the Earth is a good conductor of electricity, why don't people get electrocuted every time they touch the Earth?

Since the Earth is a good conductor of electricity, is it safe to assume that any charge that flows down to the Earth must be redistributed into the Earth in and along all directions? Does this also ...
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Lightning strikes the Ocean I'm swimming in - what happens?

I'm swimming in the ocean and there's a thunderstorm. Lightning bolts hit ships around me. Should I get out of the water?
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4answers
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If air cannot conduct electricity, how can lightning happen?

If air cannot conduct electricity, how can lightning happen?
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6answers
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What are the fields produced around a current carrying conductor?

If you consider a current carrying conductor, every instant an electron enters the conductor, another electron will be leaving the conductor. Thus, the current carrying conductor will not be charged ...
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How can one derive the Ohm's Law?

I am looking for the derivation of the Ohm's Law i.e., V is directly proportional to I. Can someone help me with it?
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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 ...
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Flow of water and flow of electrons, how this analogy works?

If flow of electrons analogy can be imagined as flow of water, how to imagine electricity, that comes in this whole picture? When plug from bottom of sink is taken out, gravity pulls water molecules, ...
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6answers
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Are Fresnel lenses widely used for solar electricity? If not, why not?

I was just wondering why Fresnel Lenses are not widely used in the production of solar electricity. Their use there would mean that you could produce heat within a fraction of a second, up to a few ...
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1answer
312 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 ...
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1answer
639 views

What are all the lines on a double circuit tower?

I understand what three-phase power is. But when I look at some pictures of a double-circuit-three-phase-power-line I see two or three lines close together? What is the purpose of these lines close ...
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How does load affect frequency on the power grid?

This story about the use of battery/freewheel based Frequency Regulators confused me about how the 60hz frequency of the North American power grid was set--saying that it was kept at that frequency by ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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Is there a travelling speed of for electric field? If yes, what is it?

Consider two circuits containing a battery, bulb, switch and conducting wires but of length 1 meter in one case and 1000KM in other. When switched on at the same time both the bulbs glow ...
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5answers
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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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2answers
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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 ...
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What is the difference between a circuit with a resistor and one without it in energy terms?

In Fundamentals of Physics (HRW), an equation is derived for the current in a circuit in terms of its emf and resistance by the 'Energy method'; that is, deriving $\epsilon = i \cdot r$ and saying ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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Why does it spark when I push a plug in the electrical socket?

When I slowly push a plug into the electrical socket I can often see sparks. Can anybody explain why? Can this be possibly harmful for the devices I plug in?
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7answers
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Why does a glass rod when rubbed with silk cloth aquire positive charge and not negative charge?

I have read many times in the topic of induction that a glass rod when rubbed against a silk cloth acquires a positive charge. Why does it acquire positive charge only, and not negative charge? It ...
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6answers
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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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5answers
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How does insulating footwear prevent an electric shock?

The reason I have always heard to explain the reduction of electric shock when we wear insulating footwear goes as follows: When electricity passes from our body to the ground, an electric circuit ...
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4answers
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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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3answers
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Calculating engine starter’s energy use

During a discussion on start-and-stop vehicle technology some bloke began pushing the point that re-starting the car uses stored energy from the battery, which needs to be replenished by increased ...
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2answers
532 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 ...
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832 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 ...