About This Chapter
Who's it for?
This unit of our AP Physics C Homeschool course will benefit any student who is trying to learn about how direct current circuits work. There is no faster or easier way to learn about direct current circuits. Among those who would benefit are:
- Students who require an efficient, self-paced course of study to learn about electric currents, electrical resistance, types of circuits and circuit analysis.
- Homeschool parents looking to spend less time preparing lessons and more time teaching.
- Homeschool parents who need a physics curriculum that appeals to multiple learning types (visual or auditory).
- Gifted students and students with learning differences.
How it works:
- Students watch a short, fun video lesson that covers a specific unit topic.
- Students and parents can refer to the video transcripts to reinforce learning.
- Short quizzes and a direct current circuits unit exam confirm understanding or identify any topics that require review.
Direct Current Circuits Unit Objectives:
- Distinguish between direct and alternating electric currents.
- Recognize the ampere as a unit of electric current.
- Identify factors that impact electrical resistance.
- Recognize the ohm as a unit of electrical resistance.
- Learn the components of electric circuits.
- Distinguish between series circuits and parallel circuits.
- Calculate the equivalent resistance in parallel, series and combination circuits.
- Use Kirchhoff's rules to analyze circuits.
- Understand how resistor-capacitor (RC) circuits work.
- Determine the current and voltage for the elements in a resistor-capacitor circuit.
1. What is Electric Current? - Definition, Unit & Types
Like a river current is the flow of water molecules, electrical current is the flow of charged particles. In this lesson, we're going to explore what electrical current is, what causes it, and that, unlike a water current, electrical current doesn't always flow in one direction.
2. Electrical Resistance: Definition, Unit & Variables
We'll take a shopping trip to the mall to learn how electrical resistance works and how it is affected by resistivity, conductor dimensions, and temperature. We'll also take a look at several common appliances that take advantage of resistance to function.
3. Electric Circuit Fundamentals: Components & Types
Electric circuits can be configured to power several loads, such as light bulbs, in series or in parallel. In this lesson, we'll look at both types of circuits and see how the voltage, current, and resistance are affected by installing additional loads.
4. Series Circuits: Definition & Concepts
When you flip a switch to turn your lights on, you are completing a circuit and providing a pathway for electrons to flow. In this lesson, you'll learn how connecting devices in a series along that circuit affects the current and resistance throughout.
5. Parallel Circuits: Definition & Concepts
People moving through an airport are similar to electrons moving through a circuit. Parallel circuits are one type of simple circuit, and they get their name from the multiple, parallel paths they provide for electron flow.
6. Applying Kirchhoff's Rules: Examples & Problems
Ohm's Law can be useful for analyzing simple circuits, but when circuits are more complex, as they often are, we can instead analyze the circuits using Kirchhoff's rules. Learn about Kirchhoff's rules in this lesson.
7. Resistor-Capacitor (RC) Circuits: Definition & Explanation
Resistor-capacitor (RC) circuits are everywhere because they are useful in our everyday lives. The current in these circuits varies with time, making them both practical and common in many types of electronic equipment.
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Other chapters within the AP Physics C: Homeschool Curriculum course
- AP Physics C - Kinematics: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP Physics C - Newton's Laws: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP Physics C - Work, Energy, & Power: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP Physics C - Linear Momentum: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP Physics C - Electrical Forces and Fields: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP Physics C - Potential and Capacitance: Homeschool Curriculum
- AP Physics C - Magnetism: Homeschool Curriculum