Basic electricity


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This is about electricity. I describe insulators, conductors, parallel circuits, series circuits, and some examples.

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Basic electricity

  1. 1. Basic Electricity By: Rebecca Garcia
  2. 2. Electricity • Electricity is seen around us every day. • Electrical outlets are found throughout our house. • Lightning bolts are seen shooting from the sky during thunderstorms. • We use electricity to power the things we use every day like our TVs and our computers.
  3. 3. The basics of Electricity • Electrons are what start electricity. • Electrons are found in atoms and have a negative charge. • Every atom contains one or more electrons.
  4. 4. Electrical Insulators • Electrons are tightly bound to their atoms in materials like wood, glass, plastic, air, and cotton. • Since the electrons can’t move, they don’t conduct electricity very well. • These materials that don’t conduct electricity well are called electrical insulators.
  5. 5. Electrical Conductors • Most metals like gold, silver, copper, aluminum, iron, etc. have electrons that can detach from their atoms and move around freely. These are called free electrons. • The free electrons moving around make it easy for the electricity to flow through these metals making them good conductors of electricity. • These kinds of metals that conduct electricity well are called electrical conductors.
  6. 6. Electrical Circuits • An electrical circuit is a device that uses electricity to perform a task like powering your lamp. • Electrical circuits always have a source of electricity (for example a battery), a load (a light bulb), and two wires that carry the electricity between the battery and the load. • The electrons go from the source through the load and then go back to where it started at the source. • There are also materials called resistors that are present in circuits that slow down the flow of the current of electricity. • There are different types of electrical circuits; there are parallel circuits and series circuits.
  7. 7. Series Circuits • In a series circuit there is only one path for the electrons to flow. • The resistors in a series circuit are connected together in a line. • Current flows through each resistor because there are no other paths to follow.
  8. 8. This is a picture of a series circuit. It has three resistors in a line and the current passes through them all. R1, R2, R3, are the three resistors and the current flows in a clockwise direction.
  9. 9. Parallel Circuits • In a parallel circuit there is more than one continuous path for the electrons to flow. • There are several pathways lined up parallel to each other that electricity can pass through. • Each pathway has its own resistor. • As the current flows though the circuit, the current is split because current goes through each of the pathways.
  10. 10. This is a picture of a parallel circuit. The R1, R2, and R3, represent the three resistors it has and the current flow goes in a clockwise direction.
  11. 11. Circuits in the real world Series Circuits Parallel Circuits • If one of the light bulbs is taken out or damaged, the other bulb will not light up. • Why? Because the electricity cannot pass through the circuit. • If one light bulb is taken out or damaged, the other bulbs will still light up. • Why? Because the current can still pass through the other pathways.
  12. 12. Examples of Parallel Circuits • In our homes, each room has it's own parallel lighting circuit so, if a light bulb blows, the other light bulbs stay lit. • Cities use parallel circuits to power their buildings and homes so that each place can get the same amount of electricity and so if one area goes out the whole city does not.
  13. 13. Examples of Series Circuits • Water heaters use a series circuit. Power enters through the thermostat, which you set at the temperature you want it to be at. When the water reaches the correct temperature, the thermostat will cut off the current to the heating element, leaving the current with no other paths to follow. This will leave the water at the set temperature. • Lamps are a series circuit. When the switch is turned on, current will flow to the light bulb. The current can only follow one path. • Freezers and refrigerators are also series circuits. It works similar to the water heater. If they get hotter than the set temperature on the thermostat the compressor will turn on dropping the temperature on the inside. Once it gets to the desired temperature the compressor will turn off again.