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

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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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How do I calculate the power consumed by a lightbulb?

I'm studying a lightbulb and its variable resistance, given by the expression: $R(T) = Ro[1 + α(T-T_0)]$, where $R_0$ is the resistance of the lamp at $T_0$. In this case, $R$ is not given by Ohm's ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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
604 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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2answers
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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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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
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What happens to capacitor’s charge when the plates are moved further apart?

In my physics textbook there is an example of using capacitor switches in computer keyboard: Pressing the key pushes two capacitor plates closer together, increasing their capacitance. A larger ...
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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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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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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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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, ...