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

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Superposition theorem

Is superposition theorem applicable for circuits having semiconductor components like diodes, transistors, etc.?
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136 views

Is it possible to use induction ampermeter to measure power consumption of electric water heater and dryer?

I hope this practical question is not OT and not too trivial for this forum. I am renting an apartment in a duplex with a shared water heater and dryer. Turns out, both water heater and the dryer are ...
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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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164 views

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, ...
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88 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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45 views

Is heat energy from electronics wasted in the winter? [duplicate]

In the winter, are not all electronics heating the house - thus no energy is wasted? Considering the energy I'm paying for: If I leave my computer running while I'm out, how much energy is actually ...
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360 views

Why does a faraday cage protect you from high currents?

In an electrostatic case it is clear that that in a space enclosed with a conductor (without charge in it) the electric field is zero. This is often demonstrated in physics shows like on the ...
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35 views

How do test lights (mains tester) work?

I was wondering how one-contact test lights work. Obviously there is a small current running from an energized pole through the human body somewhere that is still large enough to produce a visible ...
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43 views

Does all electrical insulator can be electrostatically charged?

Does all electrical insulator can be electrostatically charged, or insulator with only dielectric property can? Thank you.
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229 views

How do I combine three resistors which are in parallel with each other?

For this circuit (a and b are connected by a battery), Will I be able to find the total resistance of the circuit by adding resistors that are in series and combining resistors that are in ...
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89 views

Vortex shedding

So I was reading about vortex shedding, and got to know that it causes the building to resonate. Is there any way to use this resonance to generate electricity (maybe use quartz?) I am trying to make ...
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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 ( ...
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547 views

Why does a fluorescent tube-lamp flicker before lighting up?

If you turn on a fluorescent tube-lamp, it flickers before lighting up. If you then turn it off and turn it back on after 2 seconds, this time it doesn't flicker but lights up straight away. If you ...
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Solving circuits using kirchhoff's laws and elimination method ( not any matrix method) [closed]

I need to solve this problem as part of my review in college physics. The task is to find the value of 5 branch currents using Kirchhoff's laws and elimination method (or maybe called elimination by ...
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111 views

Some basic questions related to electricity [closed]

Note These questions may be incorrect. 1) Why do positive charges flow from high potential to lower, but the electrons do not? Am I wrong? 2) Does battery supply charge to a conductor? I read it ...
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46 views

What mechanisms require the use of different polarities in DC welding?

In gas metal arc welding, an electric arc forms between the work piece and a consumable wire, heating the work piece and also melting the tip of this consumable wire, which is continually fed into the ...
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85 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): ...
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Using a lemon's energy [closed]

Some simple exercises i need some confirmations on. Let's say a lemon has U = 1V and an average current of 0.1mA for about an hour. Q1. How much lemons do you need to light a 100W bulb. Is the ...
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142 views

Can I feel (the results of) electromagnetic induction from overhead rail lines in the human body?

A few weeks back, I was standing at a Hornsey rail station (in the UK) which uses overhead lines, and particularly has a number of parallel rail lines, all close to the platform. While I was standing ...
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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 ...
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210 views

What is the maximum theoretical efficiency of heat to electricity conversion?

I know that heat engines (heat to kinetic) are limited by Carnot cycle and that kinetic energy to electric energy conversion via standard generator reaches over 90%. However I would like to know ...
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118 views

Questions about Van de Graaff generator

Only asking those questions because I can't afford to get a real generator. If the voltage on the sphere was 50 kV, then I used a metal rod to discharge it and I connected a voltmeter to wire ...
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164 views

Why touching tooth filling with aluminum foil feels so weird?

I have read that there is and electrical current, but why and how? How big can this current (and voltage) be (does an amount of foil, saliva, tooth filling have any influence on this)? Can it "dry ...
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87 views

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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120 views

Shot noise at high frequencies (can it really be ideal white noise?)

Quantum shot noise (either optical intensity noise or electrical current noise) described by the noise spectral density of $2 e I$ (electrically) or $2 h \nu P$ (optically). So it is white noise. I ...
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138 views

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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50 views

Does the presence of atoms hinder current flow?

When current flows through a material, electric resistance is observed when the electrons collide with the material's vibrating atoms. My textbook says that when we cool the material till the point ...
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199 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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138 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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41 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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5answers
213 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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40 views

Capacitance in a capacitor

This here is a question that I just don't know what to do with. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. "A plate capacitor consists of two plates with area 2.5 cm$^2$ at a distance of 1.6 mm from each ...
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225 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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71 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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117 views

In a positively biased PN junction, where do the injection carriers come from?

I am not quite understand i-v character of PN-junction diode. Here is the model in textbook. The PN junction diode can be divided into three regions. They are One depletion region near the PN ...
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112 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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223 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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315 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 ...
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159 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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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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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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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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80 views

How to convert RL Circuits? [closed]

How do we convert a parallel RL circuit into its equivalent series RL circuit ?
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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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60 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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40 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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68 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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218 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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120 views

How does the tester screwdriver work? [closed]

How does the tester screwdriver work? If I put the tester screwdriver inside a "phase" hole of an electric socket, it lits up. If I press my finger against the metal cap on top of the screwdriver. ...
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2k 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?