About This Chapter
Current Electricity - Chapter Summary
This chapter provides a high-level overview of current electricity. As you follow along with our expert instructors, you'll become familiar with circuit types, electrical resistance, electrical schematics, Ohm's law and other electricity concepts. When you're finished working through the chapter, you should be able to:
- Compare types of electric current
- Differentiate between insulators, conductors, semiconductors and superconductors
- Interpret electrical schematic symbols
- Define concepts pertaining to parallel and series circuits
- Recognize electrical resistance units and variables
- Explain what Ohm's law says about voltage, resistance and current
- Understand the fundamentals of electric power
- Assess the applications of Kirchhoff's rules
You can use any Internet-connected device to view the lessons and take the chapter's self-assessment quizzes. Your course Dashboard will keep track of your progress throughout the chapter, and our instructors are available to answer your current electricity questions. For your convenience, we've made these resources available to study at any time that works for you.
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. Insulators and Conductors: Examples, Definitions & Qualities
In this lesson, we'll explore the reasons that some materials conduct electrical energy with ease while others block it almost completely. We'll also talk about the property of conductivity and some everyday examples of insulators and conductors.
3. Semiconductors & Superconductors: Definition & Properties
Have you ever wondered how an MRI works or how cell phones are able to become more advanced? After completing this lesson, you'll be able to explain what semiconductors and superconductors are and give examples of how they are used.
4. Electrical Schematic Symbols
After completing this lesson, you will be able to explain why electrical schematic diagrams are important, and recognize some of the most important symbols used in those diagrams. A short quiz will follow.
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. 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.
7. 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.
8. Ohm's Law: Definition & Relationship Between Voltage, Current & Resistance
Did you know that electrical current is affected by the voltage and resistance in a circuit? In this lesson, we'll use Ohm's law, which tells us how current, voltage, and resistance are related, as we work through several electric circuit examples.
9. What is Electric Power?
Power is a word we use all the time, but do you really know what it means? We'll look at how electrical power relates to voltage, current and resistance and how knowing that relationship can help you in everyday life.
10. 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.
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