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

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When two spheres of equal charge make contact, why does the larger sphere gain more charge?

Suppose that two spheres, $S1$ and $S2$, with radii $R1$ and $R2$ resp. have the same charge uniform charge $Q$ and $R1 > R2$. After they are forced to come in contact, why does $S1$ gain more ...
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71 views

Does an electron move in a conductor?

The definition of current is flow of electric charge. But recently I have heard that the electrons cannot move, that they just transmit energy to the other electrons and so on.
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116 views

Finding the direction of the magnetic force acting on a conducting wire

I have a problem in finding the direction of the force when a conducting wire is placed in a magnetic field. If I use Fleming's Right Hand rule I get a circular magnetic field, so what will be ...
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48 views

Unequally charged hanging pith balls

I have done a problem which asks us to find the charge on two equally 'massed and charged' pith balls which are left hanging on a string with a certain length that repels each other and attains an ...
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31 views

Direction of current in concentric cylinders

Example 7.2 in David Griffiths E & M book (3rd edition) has a side view of 2 concentric cylinders, with smaller radius $a$ and larger radius $b$. The region in between $a$ and $b$ has ...
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How can metal objects become electrically charged, if current flow means that an equal number of electrons enter/leave the object?

I am trying to answer to the question in the title. I am restricting my question to metal objects only. Here is my logical reasoning: Current is the flow of charge over time. In a circuit (simple ...
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164 views

Electric field generated by a point charge moving at the speed of light

As you see, this is the electric field generated by a point charge moving at constant speed v. I know that when $v$ -> 0, $E$ is just the Coloumb Law. But how do you interpret $E$ when $v$ -> $c$ ? ...
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540 views

Inductor Charging and Discharging

Why does the inductor discharges in the same path ( same direction of current ) as that of its charging unlike a capacitor which discharges in the direction opposite to its charging(current direction ...
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165 views

How to measure the energy consumption class of a home appliance? [closed]

Some of you may be familiar with the EU energy consumption classes for domestic appliances (or equivalents in other areas). Let's say we have a domestic appliance which was made before the energy ...
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758 views

How can a portable 5V battery charge another 5V battery?

For a device that is portable and can charge an iPhone 4 or Nintendo 3DS: http://www.amazon.com/New-Trent-iCruiser-IMP1000-Blackberry/dp/B003ZBZ64Q I wonder, if this device outputs 5V, and iPhone or ...
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249 views

If atoms have specific energy levels, why do opaque solids absorb all visible light, not just some? [duplicate]

Here's my question: if atoms have well defined energy levels and those differences correspond to the frequencies of light that can be absorbed, how is it that opaque objects absorb all or most visible ...
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59 views

How can a glass rod become charged if it is an insulator?

I was reading some of the other questions, and I found this one about a glass rod and how it gains a net charge when rubbed with a silk scarf. I learned from working in a shop one summer that most ...
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38 views

When the magnetic force is perpendicular to the velocity what will be affected on a charge? [closed]

I guess it can also be stated as a two part question. Is the velocity of a charge always perpendicular to the magnetic force, and when the magnetic force is perpendicular to the velocity what is ...
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4answers
179 views

Why wire filament shakes inside a light bulb?

My light bulb cast a clear light toward adjacent wall and I can clearly see, that wire filament inside bulb shakes, though lamp itself does not moves even an inch What is causing this? Is it a ...
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1answer
46 views

What physics considerations direct the charging of cars with wireless?

Is there any frequency at which cars can be charged with using wireless? Surely, wireless transmission can be safely assumed to be a form of energy transfer, and there can be charging of cars without ...
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68 views

Contact electricity and photoelectric effect

Most universities provide an experiment about the photoelectric effect to determine $h$ by measuring the stop voltage against the light frequency and calculating the slope $h/e$. But mostly they also ...
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1answer
46 views

Conduction and propagation [duplicate]

What is the difference between conduction of electric wave in conductor and propagation of electromagnetic wave in dielectric? Why propagation term is used for dielectric and conduction for ...
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0answers
76 views

Current between supeconducting rings

How to calculate the current between two superconducting rings with radius r separated by a distance d? Please note that being unfamiliar to the concept of superconducting rings, I can't approach ...
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2answers
236 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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47 views

Explain the infinitude of magnetic flux about a finite length of wire

Ok so it is clear the flux caused by an inductor is limited. If I integrate about a flat spiral inductor I will find that the flux lines going up are a fixed quantity. Since every flux line going up ...
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Why does the comb attract the pieces of papers if they're neutral?

When we rub our hairs with a comb, and then try to attract small pieces of paper, they're attracted by the comb. The pieces of the paper were not electrified before they were attracted. Then they ...
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0answers
29 views

How to check the ohmic contact to the film?

I have a thin semiconductor film deposited on an isolating substrate. I would like to check different metals to find out do they form the ohmic contact or Schottky barrier. What is the best way to do ...
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10k views

What is the difference between electric potential, potential difference (PD), voltage and electromotive force (EMF)?

This is a confused part ever since I started learning electricity. What is the difference between electric potential, potential difference (PD), voltage and electromotive force (EMF)? All of them have ...
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203 views

Loopy lightning

What causes lightning to follow the path it does ? picture from BBC news: http://news.bbcimg.co.uk/media/images/62891000/jpg/_62891901_untitled-1copy.jpg main page: ...
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68 views

Ambiguity on the notion of potential in electrical circuits?

As everybody else I have been taught elementary electrical circuits from secondary school to engineering level in analog electronics at university. Invariably, the notion of potential used to ...
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35 views

Make an Electric motor work with help of 4 magnet wheels? [closed]

I am working on a car prototype that should work on the electricity that it generates with the help of magnets. The strong magnets will be fixed at the wheels. A Coil of thin copper wire(solenoid) ...
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401 views

Potential difference (PD) and electromotive force (EMF) in terms of electrons?

I am trying to understand potential difference and electromotive force in terms of electrons. In the above 3 circuit diagrams the red shows (what I think to be) the distribution of electrons ...
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59 views

Is it possible to generate electric energy from the radiation of radioactive materials

I wonder if it is possible to generate electric energy from the radiation of radioactive materials like nuclear waste? If it is then wouldn't that also mean that it could be used as an energy source ...
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44 views

transfer of electricity through electromagnetic waves

Is it possible to transfer electricity from one place to another without the help of physical wires.
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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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2answers
45 views

Can I calculate the current of any setup with capacitance by the same formulae?

There are known formulae relating a capacitor's voltage and current in its classic form (battery, wires, a capacitor circuit), but what if we had a charged plate (-ve), then we put on one of its ...
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102 views

Current through two inductors after a long time

I'm having trouble with visualizing the following problem, which is asking me for the final, steady current in both inductors $L_{1}$ and $L_{2}$. I was thinking that after a long time, essentially ...
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3answers
580 views

How does the movement of electrons produce radio waves?

I'm mostly wondering about radio frequencies. I understand that voltage is the movement of electrons, and that the antenna acts as a light bulb, emitting at radio frequencies, following the reverse ...
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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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72 views

Why Change Of Magnetic Flux Induces Current In circuit?

Why change of magnetic flux with the time through a coil induces current in it? Please tell me that what happen to charge in the coil if the magnet or electromagnet wave around this? Also, why a ...
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2answers
100 views

Drude model: A concerning approach to $\tau$ hurts Ohm's Law

Here's the question. Between two points, $a$ and $b$, if an object is accelerated between them, it will cross the distance between them in time $t=\sqrt{2\frac{d}{a}}$. So, if the acceleration is ...
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1answer
50 views

Electricity supplication [closed]

Is their any reason I can search up as to why electricity is generally harder to inaugurate in regions of vast inhabitability?
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1answer
118 views

If light is an electric and (magnetic field), how can it be absorbed?

I was wondering how light or any electromagnetic radiation can be "absorbed" if it consists of electric and magnetic fields. For example if there is a charge at point A, and the light reaches point ...
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Does the skin effect and the proximity effect cancel each other out?

I'm interested in how the Skin Effect and the Proximity Effect interact with each other. From what I can understand: The Skin Effect is when AC current 'collects' on the skin of conductors due to ...
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1answer
144 views

The workings of the Hall effect?

I want to ask about the workings of the Hall effect. Why do the electrons come to rest on the edge of the wire? The magnetic field pushes them up, and the electric field pushes them forward. Shouldn't ...
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2answers
176 views

Why does smashing a TV remote load its batteries?

Many times I had the same problem: my TV remote's batteries were too weak for it to operate, but then, when I shook the remote a bit and smashed it on my palm, somehow the remote regained its ability. ...
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4answers
104 views

Why does a Resistor cause a potential drop?

I need to know the underlying physics of what exactly happens different with the electric field in the resistor than in superconducting wires. Why is it that when I connect a resistor, potential ...
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1answer
42 views

Electricity production

Are there alternate means to produce electricity than magnetic induction? I observe that all places this method is used .Do other methods exist even if this being the most profitable way.
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271 views

How do substances with like charges repel each other?

I have read in a number of places how substances with opposite charges attract each other: The excess electrons in the one substance repels the electrons in the other substance so that they move away ...
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73 views

Basics of Current Electricity

I have certain questions which confuse me a great deal. I want to have a very basic and clear idea about some concepts. Here it goes: 1) I am really confused on how a battery actually works. The very ...
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1answer
43 views

In Leyden Jars, how does the outer metal get charged?

In a Leyden jar, I have read that a charged object is brought in contact with the conductor in contact with the metal inside the jar, thus giving the inner metal a similar charge. And the metal ...
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3answers
543 views

Why does resistance increase with length?

This is for the case of wires only (pipes are easy). I see that if I place a 9-Volt (constant) battery across any wire, the current is proportional to resistance. I don't understand why, for a ...
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15 views

Why is low resistance beneficial to ion exchange membranes?

http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/jcp/139/11/10.1063/1.4821161 The article states that the graphene filter has a much lower electrical resistance than existing ion exchange membranes, ...
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2answers
4k views

Microwaves vs Gas or Electric Coil heating of a water boiler in a typical household

Wouldn't it be more energy efficient and or safe to use microwaves to heat our home's water boiler instead of using dangerous gas or hot electric coils that could catch other things on fire? I'm kinda ...
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59 views

Repulsion and attraction of electric currents

Now, I understand that when a an electron travels, it creates a magnetic field. If you put two wires with current traveling in the same direction they repel, and current traveling in opposite ...