Physical Science Exam ch. 10

40 terms by Autumn93 

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static electricity

all electrical phenomena relating to stationary electrical charges and the forces they exert

electrostatic force

the field force exerted by ectrical charges

law of charges

law stating that like electrical charges repel and unlike charges attract


the SI derived unit of electrical charge

line of force

imaginery lines used to model electric and magnetic fields

electrical induction

the creation of a charged region on a neutral object when exposed to a nearby electrical charge


an object or particle with two electrical or magnetic poles of opposite nature


an instrument that can detect electrical charge

electrical conductor

a material through which heat and electricity easily flow

electrical insulator

a material that does not easily conduct thermal energy or electricity


a material that allows limited electron flow, so it can act as either a conductor or a insulator depending on the circumstances

electrical discharge

the loss of static charge on an object as the surroundings supply or absorb charges to restore a nuetral condition on the object

lightning rod

a metal rod attatched to the highest point of a building that is designed to conduct a lightning discharge safely through cables to the ground

leyden jar

an early charge-storage device that consisted of a jar lined and coated with lead and used electrical induction and grounding to greatly increaseits storage capacity


a modern charge-storage device used in electrical and electronic circuits, consisting of two or more conductive plates or sheets separated by an insulator

electrical current

a continuous flow of electrical charges

cathode-ray tube

a hollow, vacuumed filled and sealed glass device containing electrical plates with opposite chargesat high voltages

electrical potential energy

the energy or work that can be done by charges moving between two points of different voltages

conventional current

the flow of positive charges through a conductor or electrolytic solution. opposite to the flow of electrons in a wire

direct current

electrical current that flows in only one direction

electrical circuit

a complete path for an electrical current. it includes a current source, such as a battery or a generator

electrical load

any device that purposely converts electrical energy to another form of energy in an electrical circuit


a device that opens or closes a gap in an electrical circuit to control the flow of current


a source of electrical potential consisting of one or more voltaic cells connected in a series

electrochemical cell

a device that creates an electrical potential by either releasing or absorbing electrons or both through chemical reaction(s)


the amount of work required to move a unit charge between two points in a circuit or field


th SI base unit of electrical current, often defined as 1 A=1 C/s for practical purposes

electrical resistance

The property of all electrical circuit elements that impedes the flow of current to some extent. Also measured in ohmes


an electrical circuit component whose specific purpose is to impede current flow or to create a potential difference between two points in the circuit

Ohm's law

law stating that in a DC-circuit component of resistance R, the current (I) through the component is directly proportional to the potential difference applied to the component


The SI derived unit of electrical resistance


the unit electrical energy used by utilities to sell electricity

series circuit

an electrical circuit or portion of a circuit with a single path of current flow through a connected set of electrical components

parallel circuit

an electrical circuit or portion of a circuit with multiple parallel paths so that the current must split up to flow through each load in a circuit

short circuit

a location in an electrical circuit where current bypasses a circuit's load to take a low-resistance path back to the current's source

overccurrent protection

an electrical device designed to open the circuit and stop the current when a high-current situation exists due to a fault in the circuit

circuit breaker

a reusable overcurrent protection device that opens a switch when current exceeds a certain value

arc-fault circuit interrupter

a reusable overcurrent protection device that opens a switch when the pulsing, high-current conditions associated with arcing are detected


a one-time use overcurrent protection device that breaks a circuit when its conductor strip melts due to the current becoming to high

ground-fault circuit interrupter

an eletrical device that instantly opens the circuit when it senses that an abnormal path for the current to ground exists

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