Electric charge

comes from an imbalance of electrons and protons; causes things to attract or repel

Electric force

the force caused by electric charge; opposites attract and like charges repel

Units for charge

Coulomb (C)

Electric force and distance

Stronger at close distances, weaker at long distances

Electric potential

The potential energy caused when electric charges have the chance to make an electric force; also called VOLTAGE


the rate that electric charges move through a conductor

Current Formula

current = charge/time
I = q/t


negative charge carriers; the flow of electrons is what causes current


conducts electricity and allows electrons to flow through it (metals, humans, water)


do not conduct electricity (rubber, plastic, air, non-metals

Field lines come out of...

positive charges

Field lines point to...

negative charges

A positively charged object will move _______ along a field line


A negatively charged object will move _______ along a field line


When charges are stronger... (what do we do with field lines?)

draw more field lines

Rule for drawing field lines

they NEVER cross

Potential energy

the capacity to do work


all mass is attracted to all mass; height represents potential energy


the difference in electrical potential energy between two places in a circuit; tells you which way charges want to move and how badly (like a map of where charges want to go)

Units for current

Amperes (A)


is caused by internal friction that slows down the movement of charge through a conductor

Insulator (resistance)

very high resistance

Conductor (resistance)

low resistance

Semiconductor (resistance)

medium resistance; resistance can be changed

Superconductor (resistance)

zero resistance

Resistance equation

V = IR
Voltage (electric potential) =
Current x Resistance

Resistance units

Ohms (Ω say "omega")


insulators in their natural state, but can be manipulated so that sometimes they conduct, and sometimes they don't

Semiconductors on the periodic table

Can be found right on the line between metals and non-metals


A train that floats above a magnetic track; the tracks are superconductors

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