Ch 16: Overview of Circuits

About This Chapter

Learn about the various types of electrical circuits we face in daily life. This chapter can improve your understanding of insulators and conductors, as well as Ohm's law.

Overview of Circuits - Chapter Summary

This chapter provides an overview of electric circuits, including the qualities of insulators and conductors. It goes on to discuss energy transfer and conservation in electrical circuits and the impedance in alternating current circuits. The chapter also explains RC and RLC series circuits. After completing this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Define what semiconductors and superconductors are, and provide their properties
  • List the different types of electric currents
  • Explain the function of an ammeter
  • Discuss the variables of electric resistance
  • Define Ohm's Law and explain the relationship between voltage, current, and resistance
  • Explain what electric power is and how a voltmeter is used to measure it
  • Provide examples and problems to applying Kirchhoff's rules
  • Alternate current power calculations

Our chapters are taught via short video lessons that have an available transcription for your convenience. Test your knowledge by taking the multiple choice quizzes available at the end of each lesson.

14 Lessons in Chapter 16: Overview of Circuits
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Insulators and Conductors: Examples, Definitions & Qualities

1. 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.

Semiconductors & Superconductors: Definition & Properties

2. 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.

What is Electric Current? - Definition, Unit & Types

3. 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.

What is an Ammeter? - Definition & Function

4. What is an Ammeter? - Definition & Function

In this lesson, we'll learn what an ammeter is and what it has to do with electric circuits. We'll also talk about the proper ways to connect an ammeter in series and parallel circuits.

Electrical Resistance: Definition, Unit & Variables

5. 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.

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

6. 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.

What is Electric Power?

7. 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.

What is a Voltmeter? - Definition & Uses

8. What is a Voltmeter? - Definition & Uses

Voltmeters are ubiquitous in our world and critical to technology. In this lesson, you will learn what a voltmeter is, how it works, and how it's used.

Applying Kirchhoff's Rules: Examples & Problems

9. 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.

Resistor-Capacitor (RC) Circuits: Definition & Explanation

10. 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.

Electrical Circuits: Energy Transfer & Conservation

11. Electrical Circuits: Energy Transfer & Conservation

After completing this lesson, you will be able to explain what an electric circuit it, how energy transfers in a circuit, and how circuits relate to the conservation of energy. A short quiz will follow.

Impedance in Alternating Current Circuits

12. Impedance in Alternating Current Circuits

In this lesson, you will learn about topics that include the difference between DC and AC circuits, the use of rms values, definitions of impedance and reactance, and calculations involving the reactance of capacitors and inductors.

R-L-C Series Circuits

13. R-L-C Series Circuits

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what an RLC series circuit is and use related equations to solve simple problems. A short quiz will follow.

Alternating Current Power Calculations

14. Alternating Current Power Calculations

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain the difference between AC and DC circuits and calculate AC current, AC voltage and AC power using both rms values and peak values. A short quiz will follow.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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