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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
0answers
42 views

Nature of electricity [duplicate]

Suppose a lightning strikes and there is an iron rod and a coconut tree. How does the electricity know that rod is the least resistant path before hand.
3
votes
2answers
338 views

number of electrons my laptop uses in a second

in order to confirm whether I understand the relation ship between amps, columbs and electrons I decided to try out the following. my laptop adapter's label reads 3.34 amps. I assume that: amps are ...
3
votes
2answers
575 views

Electrostatics:Basic question on electric current

I've got two questions for you. Electric current is the flow of electrons across a conductor.Why has it always got to do with electrons and not with protons? (I know neutrons are not eligible for ...
2
votes
2answers
684 views

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
2
votes
4answers
196 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Why isn't this working? [closed]

I just broke a 120mm computer fan in name of science and now I'm pissed; can anyone explain why this doesn't work? : The battery should create a potential difference across the motor, causing the ...
2
votes
3answers
770 views

Current Through a Circuit with an 8 Resistor Setup

The following is a question from a practice Physics GRE exam (found online at ETS's website). The circuit shown in the figure consists of eight resistors, each with resistance R, and a battery ...
2
votes
2answers
225 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Special designs to reduce the electrical resistance of a wire

The numerical simulation of this nerdy question shows that the resistance decreases with the number of nodes along longest side, and converges to a finite value when the # of nodes approaches ...
2
votes
2answers
7k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
844 views

Can a camera flash light near high voltage wires create medium to pass electricity?

I found a story of a boy who took a picture with flash light near 40,000 voltage lines. When it flashed, current came to his camera (as a spark may be) and passed through his body making him dead. Is ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Current from induced emf

If the induced emf in a circuit is negative, and current from this emf is the emf over the resistance, what happens to the negative sign in the induced emf when solving for the current? Surely there's ...
2
votes
5answers
110 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Why two connected 1.5 volt battery become 3 volt

Why two connected 1.5 volt battery become 3 volt? If one battery plus side is connect to minus side of another battery, there should be a current flow between them until no free charge move anymore, ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Effects of a Coiled Cable

Okay, I've got a little bit of a layman's question here. We're doing a bit of spring cleaning in our office and we've found a cabinet with boxes upon boxes of stored wires, so naturally, this ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

Why doesn't alternating current produce light while a vibrating single particle with a charge will

If a vibrating atom can produce light why can't an alternating current of electrons do the same? EDIT: When I use the term "light" I mean all EMR
2
votes
2answers
406 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?
2
votes
3answers
127 views

Why are high voltage lines “high voltage?”

If I have two spheres of the same size and one sphere has a small amount of charge compared to the other that has a lot more charge, then clearly the sphere with the larger charge has a larger voltage ...
2
votes
2answers
286 views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
230 views

Why do circuits work so fast?

Drift velocity (explained to me as how fast the electrons are moving) is really slow. My book says the electrons move at around 10 mm/ s. If electrons move so slowly how do circuits work so fast? If ...
2
votes
2answers
199 views

Why do electrons drift in an ideal conductor, since there's no field?

Suppose a simple circuit with a DC voltage source and a resistor. The voltage of the source will be situated over the resistor. So the electric field (which is the gradient of the potential) will be ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Why does increasing the temperature of a thermistor decrease it's resistance?

Surely, upon an increase in temperature, the atoms within the thermistor would vibrate with more energy and therefore more vigorously, hence making the electrons flowing through the electric circuit ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Different batteries connected in parallel

If we have 2 batteries one of emf x and the other is of emf y and we connect them in series we get an effective emf of x+y. But what if we connect them in parallel, how to calculate the emf now?
2
votes
2answers
6k views

current in series resistors and voltage drop in parallel resistors

when we have resistors in series, the current through all the resistors is same and the voltage drop (or simply voltage) at each resistor is different. Question 1: it is fine that voltage drop ...
2
votes
3answers
642 views

How does energy depend on frequency in an alternating current circuit?

In what relation is the energy input in an alternating current circuit to its frequency? I'd guess I have to compute something like $$E=\int P(\omega,t) dt=\int U(\omega,t) I(\omega,t) dt, $$ but ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

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" ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

Differences In Potential Equations

Could someone please describe the differences between the uses each of these potential equations: Potential due to a point charge: $V = \frac{k \cdot q}{r} - \frac{k \cdot ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
2
votes
4answers
102 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

Why does welding produce UV light?

Looking directly at a welder is dangerous because large amounts of UV light is produced. What makes this light? Is it electrons from the current that excites metal atoms, and these atoms sends out UV ...
2
votes
2answers
56 views

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
156 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
632 views

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
225 views

Producing electricity from all wavelengths of electromagnetic spectrum

Is it possible to produce electricity from all wavelengths of electromagnetic spectrum beside visible light ?Like using gamma rays or x-rays .
2
votes
2answers
888 views

How do electrons repel?

I understand the basics, protons have a positive charge, neutrons have no charge, and the electron has a negative charge. But looking at the lines of force from a proton, they flow outward and push ...
2
votes
2answers
187 views

Can wireless power transfer harm organic life by anyway?

Now, humanity can beam 50-60 watts power through 10 centimeter-thick concrete block. Can such wireless power transfer harm us by anyways?
2
votes
2answers
686 views

is the voltage drop of a battery that is being short circuited the same as the battery's advertised voltige

So I know this is a pretty fundamental question, but I'll ask it any way. lets say you have a 12V battery, and the positive is connected to the negative directly by a wire with negligible ...
2
votes
1answer
471 views

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

What's the second terminal in corona discharge?

I don't get corona discharge. There's an electrode (say naked high-voltage wire) and a current develops from that wire and ionizes gas (air) on its way. But where does this current go? What's the ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

What happens if a wind mill rotates in opposite direction?

Suppose if a windmill is made torotate in clockwise direction and due to air flow if it rotates in anti clockwise direction then does it produce electricity?
2
votes
2answers
280 views

Small scale water power, how does water volume and hight convert into electric energy?

I was playing a little bit with the basic physics behind water power production but I can't get the numbers right. Let's say that I put a windmill that pumps water into a watertank on the top of my ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Calculating current used by individual resistor?

I just recently finished a test on Physics, and when receiving my scores back I missed a question. Here's what it was if I can remember it correctly: Three resistors (10.0, 15.0, and 6.00 ohms) ...
2
votes
4answers
953 views

Do Alkaline batteries, NiMH, rechargeable alkaline, Lithium AA, all have similar MAX POWER?

So in physics, one smart teacher told me, V = IR or I = V / R but it is not always true, because ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

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 ...
2
votes
3answers
63 views

Electric impluses inside nerve cells

I'm not a biologist, nor physicist, but there is one thing I try to understand about the elecricity inside human body. I wasn't sure whether place this question here, or perhaps on biology portal, but ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Can resistance of wire be ignored

I was doing some physics homework involving direct current circuits and resistors in series, and I started to question the accuracy of the following property of resistors in series, namely that the ...
2
votes
3answers
125 views

Electromagnetic Waves

We all know that light is an electro magnetic wave. but is electricity a EM wave? If it is then why light does not requires a medium to travel and why on the other side electricity needs a conductor ( ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

How dangerous is a parallel plate capacitor which is used in physics demo experiments?

How dangerous may it be when experimenting with a parallel plate capacitor typically used in physics demonstration experiments? Take for example this one (that's what I use): ...
2
votes
2answers
115 views

Strange electrical circuit

This is a question I would like to have an explanation with: It's in this PDF, question 9. In that circuit, if switch 1 is closed, bulb A burns normally. If 2 is closed as well, do other lamps ...