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Electric Energy
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  • *little blue arrows illustrate FORCE
  • Which elements would NOT hold their electrons tightly? (those with unpaired electrons or unfilled energy shells)
  • *NOT flow or constant movement of electrical energy GOOD CONDUCTORS = metals, water
  • Antistatic mats and wrist strap Electricity always "flows downhill" - it looks for a "ground" or neutral - The planet is a good conductor, and it's huge, so it makes a handy return path for electrons. "Ground" in the power-distribution grid is literally the ground that's all around you when you are walking outside. It is the dirt, rocks, groundwater and so on.


  • 1. Electrical Energy What is it? How does it work? Where does it come from?
  • 2. Electricity
    • Electricity is the movement of charged particles from one place to another.
      • In what ways do you use electric energy?
  • 3. Charged Particles
    • Two types of charged atoms (ions)
      • Cations : positive (+) missing electrons
      • Anions : negative (-) has extra electrons
    • Ions exert forces on one another
      • Wool cap (hair stands up)
      • Socks in dryer (stick together)
      • Lightning strikes (splits/burns a tree)
    • Like particles REPEL each other
    • Opposite charges ATTRACT each other
    + + - +
  • 4. Electrical Forces
    • The amount of electric force:
      • directly relates to the magnitude of the charges
      • inversely relates to the distance between two objects
    As the number of ions in an object increases ... ...the electrical force between those objects increases . As the distance increases ... ...the electrical force decreases . + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +
  • 5. Electric Fields
    • Electric fields are areas in which forces are exerted around an electrical charge.
      • they are always perpendicular to the object's surface
        • positive (+) ions exert forces outward
        • negative (-) ions exert forces inward
  • 6. Static Electricity
    • Some atoms hold their electrons more tightly than others.
    • When materials touch, loosely-held electrons can be transferred.
    • An accumulation of charges will then exert a force on other nearby objects.
  • 7. Induction
    • This process is called induction
      • Electrons are rearranged when a negative field repels the electrons of the nearby object
      • When electrons move away, an "induced" positive electric field results
    • A strong enough charge in one object can create an electric field nearby in an otherwise neutral object.
    PhET App
  • 8. Electrostatic Discharge
    • A shock from static electricity involves a momentary discharge of electric energy
      • Caused by an accumulation of - charges (electrons)
      • NOT a flow or constant movement of electric energy
      • Sometimes visible as an arc of electricity
      • Only occur between good conductors
  • 9. Electrical Conduction
    • Conductors
      • Allow electrons to move along their surface
        • Most metals (copper, aluminum, iron, etc.)
        • Water is also a good conductor
          • Your body is made of 50 - 70% water, so YOU are a pretty good conductor of electricity
  • 10. Electrical Insulation
    • Insulators
      • hold their electrons tightly in place
      • don't allow electrons to move/flow
        • Most types of gas (including air)
        • plastic, wood, glass, ceramic
  • 11. Electrostatic Shock
    • Electric arcs can be dangerous!
      • Startling and painful
      • Can ignite fires
      • Damage electronic equipment
        • humidity reduces static
        • devices can help eliminate