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

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Migration of an ion in a non-conductive medium

Someone asked me why, when performing DNA electrophoresis we need to put the gel inside a conducting buffer. Couldn't we just run it in distilled water? My answer was that if we had distilled water ...
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3answers
507 views

Why is the field inside a hollow sphere zero?

Say you have a hollow sphere with a uniformly distributed charge on the surface. Why is the electric field everywhere inside the sphere zero? For the centre, its easy to add the vectors from the ...
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820 views

electron flow in capacitor with dielectric

if I make a circuit with a battery and a capacitor (with a dielectric inside), how it is possible to get a current in the circuit? If electrons go from one pole of the battery and they arrive to one ...
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1answer
53 views

Capacitance of a free conductor

Consider a ideal conductor in free space.For all purposes here,the zero of the potential is taken at infinity. Suppose I give a charge $Q$ to the conductor.As a result,the conductor will have a ...
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6answers
2k views

Why is electric potential 0 in this case?

On a test, we had a question where there are 4 point charges at the vertices of a square. The 2 charges at the upper vertices have charges of +q and the 2 charges ...
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1k 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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1answer
79 views

How magnets create electricity in conductors?

what are the reasons for current appearing in a wire when wire is in a changing magnetic field?
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271 views

Total Resistance in a Tetrahedal loop [closed]

Imagine if I placed resistors of 1 ohm each in shape of tertahedal. What would the total resistance be between A and D? I can't find any website that gives me a good explaination.
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539 views

What actually happens at the microscopic level in a Zener diode in reverse bias?

A Zener diode is used as a voltage stabilizer. The graph of current vs voltage of Zener diode clearly shows that there is a constant voltage across Zener after the breakdown voltage as the current ...
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Why don't positive charges move?

Charge is carried by electrons moving. The protons are always stationary. The answer I found online is the protons are stuck in the nucleus so they can't move ("strong nuclear force"). But why can't ...
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211 views

Rubbing a rod with silk?

Rubbing a glass rod with silk causes charges to be exchanged and consequently both objects get charged. Why do the objects have to be "rubbed"? I get that one has a stronger pull on the electrons ...
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53 views

Capacitance and energy

So I've been reading about capacitance (Specifically in capacitors) and I'm wondering if this reasoning is sound, and why/why not: C = Q/U U = Q/C We also know that: U = E/Q So: E/Q = Q/C Q^2 = ...
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542 views

Radiation at plate of vacuum tube

Say you have a vacuum tube, such as the kind used in old amplifiers, wherein electrons are accelerated from the cathode to the anode through an electric field. Presuming, for the sake of argument, ...
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805 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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191 views

Charge signs in current

I've had recently an argument with my friend about different charge carriers in an electric current. Suppose that electrons and holes are moving in the same direction. It effectively means we have ...
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1answer
83 views

Objects made up of electrons?

Say you have a neutral rod, and you bring a positively charged rod beside it (call the side the charged rod is brought near side A and the other side side B). The electrons from the side B will start ...
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1answer
81 views

Electromagnetism Permittivity simple question

Just a simple question regarding $\epsilon$, the absolute permittivity. I read that it measures the resistance to of certain medium to 'permit' the formation of an electrical field. Does this mean ...
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3answers
90 views

How can you have positive electricity

In a circuit, you have two opposite charges. One would be negative, which would consist of electrons. The other would be positive charge, and protons carry this. But protons aren't mobile, so how does ...
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1answer
945 views

Circuit with inductor and lightbulb when switch is turned off?

I want to know what happens with a lightbulb immediately after a switch is turned off. We're talking about a circuit with a battery (AC), an inductor, a lightbulb and a switch. I need to know it in ...
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2answers
27k views

Why is stainless steel a poor conductor of electricity?

I recently had a metal plate put in my shoulder and was wondering why stainless steel isn't a good conductor (At least I hope it isn't). Does the alloy just lack free electrons? Why is that?
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1answer
178 views

what is the mechanism of water conductivity?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the kelvin water drop generator and more specifically what happens in the water before it drops. If on one side the drops of water are positive and on the other side ...
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3answers
632 views

How to calculate Standing Waves in Electrical Cables?

I have a 20 metre Coaxial Cable. I send digital signals down the cable ranging from 5 KHz to 50 KHz. I have noticed a pattern in the noise ratio, an oscillating wave. I predict this is to do with ...
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1answer
485 views

Would Beetee's electrocution plan work and kill the tributes in the lake?

In Catching Fire, the second episode of the Hunger Games trilogy, one of the characters (Beetee) proposes a plan to kill some of the remaining tributes. He proposes wrapping a special wire that he has ...
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3answers
1k views

Why do I still get static shocks when hands are wet?

Quite a few times now I have washed my hands, and while my hands are still wet I will touch something metal and get a static shock. I thought static electricity doesn't really build up when there's a ...
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206 views

Batteries connected in Parallel

"If we connect two batteries in parallel, the battery with higher voltage will discharge into the other one." What is the intuition behind this?
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63 views

Electrode potential

If I connect a zinc half cell (Left hand side) and a copper half cell (right hand side), I get an E cell value of 1.1V taken from the voltmeter. If I replace the voltmeter with a light bulb, I will ...
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876 views

Why don't we use beta radiation for making electricity?

Why don't we use beta radiation to make our electricity? Since it is an electron being released/made, it would make sense to try and capture it. But, we obviously don't so. What am I missing in my ...
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591 views

Physics of batteries (volts vs charge)

Car batteries are usually 12 V. What is the difference between buying a car battery and hooking up a bunch of cheap household batteries in series? Both would register at 12 V. I assume that cars need ...
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1answer
187 views

How to calculate cost of AA accumulator charge? [closed]

I would like to calculate how much it will cost to change AA accumulator. Is it really cheaper than usage of batteries (don't consider ecology question as of now)? Let's say I have the following ...
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2answers
5k views

Why is there no current flow when i connect two opposite terminals of two separate batteries

I don't understand this..maybe there is something wrong with my understanding of battery or electricity. I am learning about electricity more deeply this time. So please spare with me... So lets ...
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3answers
4k views

What happens when a charged (negative or positive) object touches an insulator?

I know that insulators do not conduct electricity because they do not allow the free movement of electrons. Let's assume the object that's going to touch the insulator is negatively charged. Does some ...
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9k views

Electron flow and electric potential

In the physics tutorial topic on current electricity it defines the positive terminal as the high potential terminal and the negative as the low potential. When talking about positive test charges ...
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21k views

Is the Earth negatively or positively charged?

The Earth carries a negative electric charge of roughly 500 thousand Coulombs. Does that mean the Earth is negatively charged?
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623 views

Is a billion volt electrical transmission line possible?

Because $$ P_{\,\displaystyle\rm loss}=\frac{P^2R}{V^2} $$ in an electrical line where $R$ is the total resistance Why not use a $1$ billion volt line instead of a $800\,\rm kv$ line? Is there a ...
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3answers
885 views

How exactly does WiTricity's wireless power transfer using resonance work?

The WiTricity group has made a lot of buzz but no internet article explains the exact method that they are using. Does any one know how it works?
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53 views

Applying more current? [closed]

An electric motor draws 20 Amps, when at maximum load of x. Can that value of current be applied even if the load was ten times less than x from a certain power source?
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61 views

Calculating Energy & Small functional time scale

I have an electric motor that can apply a pull force of $3000 \;\mathrm{lb}$ (electric winch), it draws $180 \;\mathrm{A}$ at $12 \;\mathrm{V}$. I understand that power $P = I \cdot V = 2.1 ...
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1answer
95 views

Is there another way besides $V = k\int dq/r$ to find potential?

Suppose that the charge distribution $q(r)$ in the radial $r$-direction in a thin hollow disc of inner radius $a$ and outer radius $b$ is given by the power-law equation: $$q(r) = Q_0 \left[1 ...
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2answers
2k views

What do we mean exactly by the positive/negative charges in cathode and anode?

In batteries, what exactly do we mean by negative and positive charges? My understanding is that the negative charge of the anode is basically an atom with an extra electron in the last orbital and a ...
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1answer
647 views

Can capillary forces be used to make hydro electricity?

Could a device with very thin columns of glass or something that attracts water more be used to pull water up and then release it to drive generator and perhaps add vacuum. I have been wondering ...
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2answers
942 views

How do voltage and voltage drops over a circuit relate to work done?

I have a few remaining uncertainties when it comes to voltage. I numbered the paragraphs in my thought sequence for easier reference. In a series circuit, I know voltage is the electric potential, ...
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1answer
94 views

Converting heat into energy [closed]

I'm currently building a custom desk. In this desk I will also build-in a small part with a custom electronic panel to provide power to USB devices. As my gaming pc generates a lot of heat and the ...
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3answers
8k 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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148 views

Complex impedance triangle, why is there a complex part?

Why is the inductive reactance written as jωL? I know that multiplying by j rotates the inductive reactance on the j axis, but why do we do that? Why is it not on the same axis as the resistance?
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145 views

Transmit DC power with one cord?

My DC devices have two wires connecting them to the power source, but what would be needed to transfer DC power using just one? I depict it as a kind of headphone, which can work with just one wire.
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2answers
132 views

How does one estimate the electrical power of a power plant?

I have two related questions that I would like help on: When a power plant creates power like the Hoover Dam, it can provide 2.07 GW of electrical power. My question is what does this mean? I assume ...
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3answers
86 views

Capacitor related query

Why does a capacitor charge only upto the voltage of the source? I mean in an r.c. circuit if we have a resistor that is in series with the capacitor then because of the potential drop there will be ...
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3answers
231 views

Relation between voltage and current [duplicate]

What I know is that voltage is the electrical pressure which is required to drive the electrons in a circuit. According to that we have higher currents when there is a high voltage. Ohm's law confirms ...
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5answers
3k views

How would I explain Ohm's Law in terms of Electrical Fields and Force?

In terms of current, resistance, and voltage, it's easy: Ohm's Law is the relationship between current, voltage, and resistance of a circuit. Boom, simple as that. How could I put this in terms of $E$ ...
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1answer
1k views

how can electromagnetic waves reach a cell phone in faraday cage?

is there any way to make electromagnetic waves reach a cell phone in faraday cage although conductor surround cell phone everywhere , can we pass current through conductor to make charges move as a ...