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Ch 18: Electricity, Potential & Capacitance in Physics

About This Chapter

Study electricity, potential and capacitance in physics with the lessons in this chapter. Explore the laws that govern these concepts and learn more about how they function in physics.

Electricity, Potential & Capacitance in Physics - Chapter Summary

Get ready to charge up your understanding of electricity, potential and capacitance in physics. This chapter provides you with definitions and examples of these subjects. You'll be able to explore how electricity works, the importance of potential and equations involved with capacitance. Find out about electrical charges and resistance. You can also learn about the laws that govern these forces and how they can be applied. These video and text lessons will also cover:

  • Electric force fields, currents and power
  • Coulomb's Law and Ohm's Law
  • Electric circuits, insulators and conductors
  • Voltage sources and electric potential
  • How to find electric potential difference
  • Capacitance equations and formulas
  • Types and uses of capacitors
  • The potential of spheres and cylinders

Physics experts will take you step by step through these forces to ensure you understand them. The lessons are also designed to help you absorb the important vocabulary words associated with these subjects. The interactive quizzes throughout the chapter will help you check your ability to apply what you're learning about physics.

20 Lessons in Chapter 18: Electricity, Potential & Capacitance in Physics
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Electric Charge and Force: Definition, Repulsion & Attraction

1. Electric Charge and Force: Definition, Repulsion & Attraction

Have you ever wondered what electricity is and where it comes from? Have you ever been zapped by static electricity and wondered how it got there? We'll answer all of these questions in this lesson on electric charge and force!

Electric Force Fields and the Significance of Arrow Direction & Spacing

2. Electric Force Fields and the Significance of Arrow Direction & Spacing

Did you know that force fields don't just exist in science fiction movies? In this lesson, we'll explore the electric force fields that surround charged particles and how we can draw diagrams that represent them.

Coulomb's Law: Variables Affecting the Force Between Two Charged Particles

3. Coulomb's Law: Variables Affecting the Force Between Two Charged Particles

In the 18th century, Charles Coulomb uncovered the secrets of electrostatic force between charged particles. The results of his experiments led to what is now known as Coulomb's Law, which tells us how force, charge, and distance are all related.

Insulators and Conductors: Examples, Definitions & Qualities

4. 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.

What is Electric Current? - Definition, Unit & Types

5. 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.

Electrical Resistance: Definition, Unit & Variables

6. 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.

Electric Circuit Fundamentals: Components & Types

7. 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.

What is Electric Power?

8. 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.

Electric Field & the Movement of Charge

9. Electric Field & the Movement of Charge

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what an electric field is, draw electric field lines and vectors for charged particles, and complete calculations involving electric fields. A short quiz will follow.

Voltage Sources: Energy Conversion and Examples

10. Voltage Sources: Energy Conversion and Examples

We use them every day, but no one really gives them much thought. What are we talking about? Why, voltage sources, of course! Batteries and generators are two of the most common sources of voltage that power our daily lives. We'll look at them in detail to see how they work.

Electric Potential Energy: Definition & Formula

11. Electric Potential Energy: Definition & Formula

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what electric potential energy is and use an equation to solve electric potential energy problems involving point charges. A short quiz will follow.

Electric Potential: Charge Collections and Volt Unit

12. Electric Potential: Charge Collections and Volt Unit

In this lesson, we'll find out that electric charges can be rather lazy until something motivates them to get work done. Find out what gives electric charges the potential to do work and how we measure that potential with something called voltage.

Finding the Electric Potential Difference Between Two Points

13. Finding the Electric Potential Difference Between Two Points

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what electric potential difference is and calculate the electric potential difference between two points in a uniform electric field. A short quiz will follow.

What is Capacitance? - Definition, Equation & Examples

14. What is Capacitance? - Definition, Equation & Examples

Capacitors are used to store and quickly release large amounts of electrical energy. In this lesson, we will learn how capacitors are created and used and how your body can function as a capacitor.

Capacitance: Units & Formula

15. Capacitance: Units & Formula

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what a capacitor is, define capacitance, and solve simple problems using capacitance equations. A short quiz will follow.

Fixed & Variable Capacitors: Parts & Types

16. Fixed & Variable Capacitors: Parts & Types

Capacitors are devices that store electrical energy. In this lesson, we will explore the various types of capacitors, how they work, and how to calculate equivalent capacitance.

Capacitors: Construction, Charging & Discharging

17. Capacitors: Construction, Charging & Discharging

Electrical circuits have several components, each of which must be understood for the system to work. We're going to check out capacitors in this lesson and see how they can be used to control an electric current.

Ohm's Law: Definition & Relationship Between Voltage, Current & Resistance

18. 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.

The Potential of a Sphere

19. The Potential of a Sphere

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what electric potential is, state and use the equation for the potential of a sphere, and plot a graph of electric potential with radius. A short quiz will follow.

The Potential of a Cylinder

20. The Potential of a Cylinder

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what electric potential is and solve problems using an expression for the electric potential of a cylinder. In AP Physics C, you should be able to derive the expression. A short quiz will follow.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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