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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Why is the voltage drop across an ideal wire zero?

I'm having trouble conceptualizing why the voltage drop between two points of an ideal wire (i.e. no resistance) is $0~V$. Using Ohm's Law, the equation is such: $$ V = IR \\ V = I(0~\Omega) \\ V = 0$...
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Why are $\mu_0$ and $\epsilon_0$, which appear in electrostatics and magnetostatics, related to the speed of light which appears in electrodynamics?

$\epsilon_0$ and $\mu_0$ appear in electrostatics and magnetostatics. When we include time varying fields we have electrodynamics and the appearance of c which turns out to be related to $\epsilon_0$ ...
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166 views

Why do electric pickles only glow at one end?

The electric pickle is often used as an example of a non-ohmic resistor. In the experiment, electric current excites the sodium ions inside pickle, producing very bright and intense light effect. What ...
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How can a material conduct heat but not electricity

Mica is a good conductor of heat but an electrical insulator. According to free electron theory (which applies only to metals) free electrons carry heat and electricity. Therefore, thermal ...
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Why the bulb glows brighter?

If the total current is divided into the branches in a parallel configuration and it is constant in series. How come the bulbs glow brighter when connected in parallel than when connected in series?
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Voltage drop due to a resistor

I'm afraid this question is going to sound rather dumb but here it is: Suppose I have a very simple circuit: one battery and one resistor. The sum of the voltages in this circuit has to equal zero. ...
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Will the current carrying solid conductors emit light?

If we pass current through a gas, like in the discharge tube, the electrons will accelerate in the electric field. The accelerated electrons will collide with gas molecules, and transfer some of their ...
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How does lightning “know” where to go?

If lightning comes down in, say, a large flat field with a lightning rod sticking out of the middle, the lightning will strike the rod. How does it "know" the rod is there? Will it always strike the ...
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Why do batteries work?

Consider diagram A. In diagram A a car is at the top of a cliff. Gravity is pulling it down, but it does't move since its on a flat surface. Even though it would be at a lower potential at point B, it ...
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Is it possible to get energy from electrical wire using induction?

Pardon me if this is a stupid question but my physics courses are from a long long time ago and I was a teenager back then. ;) Electricity in a wire generates electromagnetism, right? Would it be ...
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why do lightbulbs sometimes unscrew by themselves?

I've seen some light fixtures which exhibit the behavior of lightbulbs gradually unscrewing by themselves.
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Why does electricity flowing through a copper coil generate a magnetic field?

Can some one please explain to me why electricity flowing though a copper coil generates a magnetic field or where I could possibly find that information? Are there other materials that produce a ...
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Derivation of Ohm's Law

Is it possible to derive Ohm's law (perhaps in some appropriate limit) from Maxwell's Equations?
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Sum total distance of electrons on a spherical surface

What is the sum total distance between every possible pair of point charges when there are n point charges on a spherical surface? All point charges can only and are located on the infinitesimal ...
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199 views

How can there be a path to ground with thick shoes and a carpet?

I'm connecting a test light to one pin of an halogen lamp. When I touch the metallic part on the back of the test light, the light glows, as it is supposed to. However, I have thick shoes and I am ...
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662 views

How is the current same on both the sides of a resistor?

I am wondering that how can current be equal on either side of a resistor as the work of a resistor is to resist the flow of electrons i.e. decrease the current. How is this possible?
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What happens when the frequency of A.C becomes infinite?

In an alternating current, the flow of electric charge periodically reverses direction, and the number of times it does that is called the frequency of the current. However, if the frequency of an AC ...
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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 $$P(r)=\frac{...
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Will there be any force of attraction or repulsion between an electrified body and a non-electrified body?

Up to my knowledge an electrified (charged) body can attract a non-electrified (neutral) body. I thought this because, when we bring a charged (suppose negatively charged) body near a neutral one. ...
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When does voltage drop occur?

Why or when does it occur in a circuit? What does it imply when you speak of a voltage drop across a resistor? (Obviously, it probably means that the current's voltage before the resistor is higher ...
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628 views

Balloon rubbing; where do the electrons go?

If you rubbed a balloon with a towel, where would the electrons go: the balloon or the towel? Why? I'm guessing the electrons would go to the object with a larger mass, but it's just a guess. :)
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What causes the electrical reaction between two carbon rods touching?

I recently watched this video in which carbon rods from a 6V lantern battery are removed and then touched together to create a makeshift arc reactor furnace. This produces electrified plasma which can ...
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473 views

Why does my shirt make a crackling noise when it is static?

I thought that when clothing becomes "static" (used as a colloquial adjective for that state when clothing fresh out of the drier sticks to everything) it's because of a build up of electrons. That's ...
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Batteries and voltage?

The voltage of a battery gives you the difference in potential energy 1C of charge would have at the positive terminal vs the negative terminal. If I connect a wire to both terminals, the battery ...
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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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How is a Lichtenberg figure created?

Related: Breakdown voltage of a dielectric When I think of the dielectric breakdown of air, an electric field of $3×10^6$ V/m is enough to accelerate initially ionized electrons created primarily ...
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Applicability of the concept of voltage in electrodynamic circuits

In electrostatics, we have $$\nabla \times \vec{E} = 0$$. Hence, we can define a scalar potential $V$, where $$\vec{E} = -\nabla V$$. We know from Faraday's law that $$\nabla \times \vec{E} = -\frac{\...
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Speakers and Static from Hands

Why is it that when you touch the a bare male end of a speaker feed that the speaker makes hissing noises? Is it just (eddy?) currents running through you?
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Using Electrostatic Force to Repel Dust From an Object [closed]

I have two 4,000V, 2.5mA, DC power supplies and am attempting to use them in such a way to cause a 6x4x1-inch ABS plastic object to repel dust from the ambient air and prevent this dust from settling ...
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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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maximum positive electric charge of solid body

What are the limiting factors on the positive charge of a solid body? If I assume a 'perfect insulator' environment that would not exchange charge with my solid body, I would guess that I can remove ...
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621 views

Algorithm of Lightning Strikes? [duplicate]

Given an array of charge for a given area (2D or 3D), what algorithm would describe the path that lightning takes? An example algorithm would be from the highest charge of the cloud, find the lowest ...
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Why didn't Newton study electricity and magnetism?

This is a soft question about the history of physics. In Newton's time, electrical and magnetic phenomena (such as amber attracting things or the alignment of compass needles) were well known. Yet I ...
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Why an inductor parallel with a light bulb makes it flash as a key closes the circuit?

The title is a simplified form of my question. To be precise, I'm talking about the following circuit: The inductor has a resistanse equal to the resistor in the circuit. So, the question is that, ...
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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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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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Thermal conductivity affected by electrical current

Does anyone know of any materials whereby the thermal conductivity can be changed by passing an electrical current through the material?
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The possibility of free electrical energy?

Please excuse my lack of knowledge/understanding. Question: Why Nikola Tesla's Free Energy concept was never worked upon? Even today. Context: Now that we know Nikola Tesla was a genius and did ...
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Do any fundamental particles with gravitational or electric dipoles exist?

For magnetism: $$ \oint \vec{B} \cdot \mathrm{d} A = 0 $$ For electricity: $$ \oint \vec{E} \cdot \mathrm{d} A = \frac{Q}{\epsilon_0} $$ For gravity: $$ \oint \vec{g} \cdot \mathrm{d} A = -4\pi G ...
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Is it possible to explain voltage and current using the wave nature of electrons?

Assume a battery and resistor are connected in a series. If we double the resistance, the current gets cut in half. This is a macroscopic effect. How do those electrons know that resistance has ...
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Graph of Electrical Resistivity of Air vs Air Pressure

I've search many place ( Google, forums etc ) but can't seem to find anything that explains the Relationship between: Electrical Resistivity of Air vs Air Pressure Constant Variable: ...
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Lightning Conductor Working

During a thunderstorm charges collect on clouds until a field which is more than the air's dielectric strength is created. Because now there is a potential difference between the ground (0 Volts) and ...
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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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What exactly is ''electric energy''?

If the two fundamental types of energy are kinetic and potential energy, is electric energy simply the kinetic energy of charge carriers? Also, is the statement "A cell converts chemical potential ...
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If the current is increased, is there more charge flowing or is it moving quicker?

Problem Current is the amount of charge that is flowing through a component per unit of time. For a given voltage, Ohm's law tells us that if we increase the resistance, then the current must ...
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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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793 views

What determines how much electrical charge an object can hold?

What determines how much electrical charge an object can hold? Does increase voltage force more electrical charge to be store in an object (Van de Graaff generator), since electric field increase as ...
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How to get a function for the voltage across a capacitor connected to an AC voltage source? [closed]

I am looking for the way of obtaining a solution for $V_{c}$ ,as a function of $t$ depending of $\omega$, of the following differential equation related to an electrical circuit involving a low-pass ...
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What happens to this potential energy?

Let's say I turn on a Van de Graaff which creates a large positive charge. Now let's say I have an object with a positive charge in my hand and I start walking toward the Van de Graaff from $x$ meters ...