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

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Why do some (older) wind generators have more than three blades?

Based on my personal observations, newer windmills seem to have three blades while older ones tend to have four or even more. This question has excellent discussion on my three is an optimal number. ...
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187 views

Why do power lines buzz more when it is low-humidity outside?

I have observed that the power lines buzz louder when there is less moisture in the air. Why is this? If it will help the lines are located on the foot hills of a nearby mountain.
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336 views

Why does hair stand up when standing under power lines?

My initial guess would be the immense electric field around the lines, that causes hair to get charged and due to each hair having the same charge they start to repel each other. So what is exactly ...
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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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lifetime of a PN junction in a diode

diodes are made of silicon, which have been enriched in phosphorus and boron to create the PN junction. Since the electrons are always going in the same direction, from N to P in the junction, I was ...
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How can the effects of temperature be accounted for in-situ electrical resistance corrosion monitoring?

In reading the Berkeley Lab's article Rust Never Sleeps, where research is underway investigating the use of iron oxide rust as a photovoltaic, they state: Rust – iron oxide – is a poor conductor ...
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326 views

What happens when you pass a current through a coil made of a ferromagnetic substance?

I know when you pass a current through a length of copper coil or a solenoid, there is the induction of a magnetic flux. But what of the coil made of the ferromagnetic material, the permanent type ...
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372 views

Impurity scattering temperature dependence

Is there any temperature dependence of relaxation time in impurity scattering of conducting electrons? It seems to me that there is none. But, some people claim that there is. So if you could ...
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Why are downed power lines dangerous?

A friend of mine was telling me about a storm that knocked down a power line over at their place, and it got me to thinking. Why are downed power lines dangerous? I don't see any good reason for it. ...
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Does a capacitor ever get fully charged?

The time $t$ taken by a capacitor of capacitance $C$ in a charging circuit with a resistance $R$ in series with it to accumulate charge $q$ is given by the equation $$t = \tau ...
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Do electric and magnetic lines of force physically exist?

As per my imagination any thing can't impose force on the other by not giving even a touch(i,e action at a distance). So I thought there must be some physical existence of lines of force. Although ...
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What is a virtual ground?

What is a virtual ground? I would like to know what it is.
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How much energy was consumed when we turn on/off light?

My parents told me to turn off the light when I am not using it. But I remember my physics teacher told me that the action of turning on/off a light can cause huge energy. I am wondering how much is ...
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11k views

Will adding heat to a material increase or decrease entropy?

Does adding heat to a material, thereby increasing electrical resistance in the material increase or decrease entropy? Follow up questions: Is there a situation were Heat flux ie. thermal flux, ...
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23k views

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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592 views

Power dissipation in circuits:Why is high voltage used in power lines?

I know this question has been asked before, but there is one doubt I still cannot clear. Power dissipation is proportional to $I^2R$. Does this not mean that it is also proportional to $V^2/R$? If ...
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How can two different 12V batteries have different amperage for same resistance?

My local car parts dealer presented me his inventory of car batteries. One 12V battery had a 'cold crank amperage' of 600amps. The other 12V battery had a 'cold crank amperage' of 585amps. ...
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215 views

Can electricity flow through vacuum?

People say yes, and give a wonderful example of vacuum tubes, CRTs. But can we really say that vacuum (..as in space) is a good conductor of electricity in a very basic sense?
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548 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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179 views

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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138 views

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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323 views

What proved Conventional sense wrong?

What fact proved for the first time that the conventional sense of current was wrong? And when it did happen? As a corollary of this question, why do we say that electrons have negative charge? Is it ...
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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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211 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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Are all metals good conductor of electricity?

I am writing an article for kids, which is on conductors and insulators of electricity. If I make a statement that "All metals are electrical conductors and all non-metals are electrical insulators" ...
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4k views

What is the difference between induced and motional emf?

At least from their names, it seems motional emf is induced, so what's the difference?
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263 views

The original thorium reactor?

With lunar thorium being common, and heavier than iron or nickel, does earth's core have the the occasional nuclear reaction?
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218 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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297 views

'ting' 'ting' sound from a tube-light?

Whenever I light up a tube-light it makes 'ting' 'ting' sound every-time it blinks. I am talking about this tube-light Why is it so? I think its because of sparking(inside glass tube) ...
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769 views

Electric field in a wire?

The electric field in a wire is parallel to the wire's surface (it is always pointing "to the front"). If the electric field did not point in this direction, surface charges would build up and ...
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How does a crow sitting on one of the electric lines attain the same potential as that of the line so as to prevent a charge flow through its body? [duplicate]

The crow doesn't get an electric shock while sitting on only one electric line because it has the same potential as that of the line. Since there is no potential difference the charge does not flow ...
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264 views

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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Relating milliampere-hours to watt-hours for batteries

I've seen many batteries that are measured in milliampere hours (mAh), while others are measured in watt hours (wh). How can I convert them between each other so that I can actually compare them? It's ...
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How do I join two co-axial cables?

I'm trying to join two ends of co-axial cables. I've managed to connect the two ends of copper wires but still the signal response is very low. When I try to stretch the cable signal gets good. Why ...
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61 views

Why do I see different color sparks from the 2 pins when I plug an appliance in a socket?

I plugged in the charger of my laptop into a socket, which I have done a lot of times but this time, I noticed a strange thing. When the contact was made between the pins of charger and the socket, ...
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283 views

Do batteries provide electrons

In chemistry, the reaction at negative electrode produces electrons,which flow to the positive electrode through the circuit. But then, if circuit has a conductor, then wouldn't it also release ...
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128 views

Why is the voltage of a battery equal to the emf?

We know that there is an electric field inside the battery that works against the moving electrons of a circuit. But there is also the chemical force of the battery that at some point become equal. ...
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420 views

How can there be current if all paths have same potential difference

I am learning about circuit analysis now, but there is something that I can't wrap my head around. Imagine this simple circuit: ...
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188 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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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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753 views

Why do aqueous solutions always “have to be” electrically neutral?

I was reviewing some analytical chemistry and stumbled upon a section that explained the imperfection of using a salt bridge. It said that the using dissimilar ions is a problem because in, for ...
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316 views

Does electric potential have a temperature?

When I took my first thermo class a tucked away chapter introduced Exergy in terms of electrical energy, meaning that the amount of electrical energy you could get from something is functionally its ...
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57 views

How are analog clocks synchronized? clocks on the frequency (50 Hz or 60 Hz) connected with power cable to the electricity network

Those clocks that use a motor that runs exactly on the frequency (50 Hz or 60 Hz) and connected with power cable to the electricity network. I mean - a frequency controlled clock / alarm - the ...
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191 views

Can high voltage power lines attract physical objects?

An electrician told today in a conversation that 10-60 KV high power lines have a passive property of attracting (pulling towards them) physical objects (e.g. a human body), and that’s what makes them ...
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125 views

What exactly is resistance and Ohm?

Ohm is defined as "a resistance between two points of a conductor when a constant potential difference of 1.0 volt, applied to these points, produces in the conductor a current of 1.0 ampere, the ...
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Where can I learn the meaning of variables in a formula?

I am in a low level physics class that is taught in high school. We were given a couple formulas as seen on the board, but I don't know what the variables stand for (their names), and what units ...
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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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2k views

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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131 views

Voltage in a circuit?

The voltage of the battery signifies the difference in voltage between the positive and negative terminal What does this mean? The definition of voltage difference I'm familiar with is 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 ...