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

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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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Why does a salt solution conduct electrical current?

How does e.g. sodium chloride (aq) conduct electricity? By accepting electrons (unlikely since they already have a full outer shell)? But they can't be hopping around themselves, can they? I mean, if ...
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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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1answer
301 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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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 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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371 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 ...
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5answers
773 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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1answer
244 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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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
928 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 ...
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646 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 ...
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1answer
399 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 ...
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1answer
932 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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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2answers
850 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 ...
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1answer
864 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 ...
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2answers
258 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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3answers
633 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 ...
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1answer
129 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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3answers
3k views

use of Mobile phone on Petrol pump

I was trying to find out the cause behind the Explosion at petrol pump due to the Mobile phones but eventually it turns out it is not Radio Frequency which may cause the explosion rather it is totally ...
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2answers
633 views

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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5answers
7k 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 ...
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5answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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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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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 ...
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803 views

Of all the electrical energy used in a home, is there any portion that won't eventually become thermal energy in the home?

Considering all of the appliances that the average home uses--microwaves, light bulbs, dishwashers, refrigerators--is it safe to say that all of the electrical energy in a home will be converted to ...
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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 ...
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5answers
508 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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720 views

When mutual inductance is occurring between two coils, is self inductance always occurring in each individual coil?

When a coil connected to an AC generator creates an EMF in another nearby coil (mutual inductance), is self inductance simultaneously occurring in both coils?
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2answers
203 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 ...
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5answers
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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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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. ...
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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 ...
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2answers
462 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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1answer
673 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 ...
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2answers
173 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, ...
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5answers
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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. ...
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3answers
226 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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4answers
465 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 ...
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3answers
172 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 ...
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2answers
103 views

Why doesn't alternating current produce light while a vibrating single particle with a charge will

If a vibrating atom can produce light why can't an alternating current of electrons do the same? EDIT: When I use the term "light" I mean all EMR
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2answers
385 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
93 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 ...
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2answers
7k 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?
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4answers
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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?
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1answer
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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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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
86 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 ...