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Physical Science CH 20: Electricity
Electricity: Vocabulary and key concepts
Terms in this set (52)
A property that causes subatomic particles such as protons and electrons to repel ech other.
An excess or shortage of electrons produces a
net electric charge
The force of attraction or repulsion between electrically charged objects is
The effect an electric charge has on other charges in space around it is the charge's
The strength of an electric field depends on what two things?
The amount of charge that produces the field and the distance from the charge.
Charge can be transferred by what three methods?
friction, contact, and induction
What does the Law of Conservation of charge say?
The total charge on an isolated system is constant.
Transfer of charge without contact of materials is called
What occurs when a pathway through which charges can move forms suddenly?
Continuous flow of electric charge
The two types of current are
alternating and direct
Charge flows in only one direction in
direct current (DC)
A flow of electric charge that regularly reverses its direction
alternating current (AC)
A material through which charge can flow easily
A material through which charge cannot flow easily
Some good electrical conductors are
metals like copper and silver
Some good electrical insulators are
wood, plastic, rubber, and air
Opposition to the flow of charges in a material
What 3 things affect a material's resistance
thickness, length, and temperature
A material that has almost zero resistance when it is cooled to low temperatures
In order for charge to flow in a conducting wire, the wire must be connected in a complete loop that includes
a source of electrical energy
The difference in electrical potential energy between two places in an electric field
Because it is measured in volts, potential difference is also called
Three common voltage sources
batteries, solar cells, generators
A device that converts chemical energy to electrical energy
What law says that the voltage (V) in a circuit equals the product of the current (I) and the resistance (R)
the unit of current
the unit of resistance
the unit of voltage (potential difference)
What does increasing the voltage do to current?
increases the current
What does keeping the same voltage and increasing the resistance do to the current?
decreases the current
What do you call a device used to measure current, voltage, and resistance?
Circuit diagrams use symbols to represent parts of a circuit, including
a source of electrical energy and devices that are run by the electrical energy
In a circuit diagram if a switch is open, the circuit is not a complete loop, and current stops. This is called an
When the switch is closed, the circuit is complete and charge can flow. This is called a
A circuit in which a charge has only one path through which it can flow is called a
If one element in a series circuit stops functioning, what happens?
none of the elements can operate
An electric circuit with two or more paths through which charges can flow is called a
If one element in a parallel circuit stops functioning, what happens?
the rest of the elements can still operate
The rate at which electrical energy is converted to another form of energy is called
How is electric power calculated?
by multiplying voltage by current
Power is measured in
current is measured in
voltage is measured in
To find the electrical energy used by an appliance, what do you multiply?
multiply power by time
What are 5 things that help make electrical wiring safe to lose?
correct wiring, fuses, circuit breakers, insulation, and grounded plugs
What prevents current overload in a circuit?
What do you call a switch that opens when current in a circuit is too high?
a circuit breaker
What do you call the transfer of excess charge through a conductor to Earth?
What do you call an electrical safety outlet that monitors current flowing to and from an outlet or an appliance?
a ground fault circuit interruptor (GFCI)
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