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  • Electrostatics

    the study of electric charges that can be collected and held in one place


    when the positive charge of the nucleus equals the negative charge of the surrounding electrons, then the atom is ___


    a material through which a charge will not move easily is called an electric ___


    a material that allows charges to move about easily is called an electric ___


    consists of a metal knob connected by a metal stem to two thin, lightweight pieces of metal foil, called leaves

    Charging by conduction

    charging a neutral body by touching it with a charged body

    Charging by induction

    Charging an object without direct contact between the object and a charge


    the process of connecting a body to Earth to eliminate excess charge

    Coulomb's Law

    the magnitude of the force between charge q(A) and charge q(B), seperated by a distance r, is proportional to the magnitude of the charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

    Coulomb (C)

    the SI standard unit of charge

    Elementary charge

    The magnitude of the charge of an electron (1.60e-19)

    Electric field

    real, actual areas that surround a charged object for which the object may exert a force on another object

    Electric field line

    a pictoral way for explaining the nature of the electrostatic field. In particular, for showing the direction fo the field when you have like and unlike charges.

    Electric potential difference

    (V) the work done moving a positive test charge between two points in an electric field divided by the magnitude of the test charge


    one joule per coulomb (J/C=V)


    a device that is designed to store charge to be released at a later point in time


    the ratio of charge to electric potential difference - measured in Farads (F) - charge is usually small

    Electric current

    a flow of charged particles

    Conventional current

    the flow of positive charges

    Electric ciruit

    a closed loop pathway that allows for current to flow from a power source, through an electrical element, and back to the power sources - current can only flow within a closed loop circuit due ot the fact that it must return to the power source

    Current (I)

    the amount of charge that moves through an electrical circuit per unit of time - measured 1 coulomb per second - 1C/s=A ampere

    Resistance (R)

    a measure of the degree to which an electrical element impedes the flow of current within a circuit as it utilizes the current flow in order to operate - measured in Ohms (Ω)


    an electrical element within a circuit that utilizes current flow and can be wired within a series or parallel connection to other elements;

    Parallel connection

    an electrical connection between electrical elements in which there are two or more pathways for current to flow

    Series Connection

    an electrical connection between electrical elements in which there is only one pathway for current to flow


    a material with zero resistance -there is no restriction of current in superconductors, so there is no potential difference across them

    Series circuit

    a closed, loop electrical ciruit with only 1 path for current to flow; the amount of current that flows within the circuit is equal in each element

    Equivilent resistance

    the sum of all the individual resistances (R=Ra+Rb+Rc+...)

    Voltage divider

    a series circuit used to produce a voltage source of disired magnitude from a higher-voltage battery

    Parallel circuit

    a closed, loop electrical circuit in which two or more paths for current to flow exist; Electric Potential Difference (V) is the same for each path

    Short circuit

    occurs when a circuit with a very low resistance is formed - the low resistance causes the current to be very large, and when appliances are connected in parallel, each additional appliance placed in operation reduces the equivalent resistance in the circuit and increases the current through wires. The additional current might produce enough thermal energy to melt the wiring's insulations, cause a short circuit, or even begin a fire.


    a short piece of metal that melts when too large a current passes through it

    Circuit breaker

    an automatic switch that opens when the current reaches a threshold value

    Ground-fault interrupter

    an electric outlet that prevents injuries (electrocution) because it contains an electric circuit that detects small differences in current cause by an extra current path and opens the circuit

    Combination series-parallel circuit

    a circuit which includes series and parallel branches


    a device that is used ot measure the current in any branch or part of a circuit


    a device used to measure the voltage drop across a poriton of a circuit - connected in parallel with resistor

    Coulomb´s Law


    Electric charge can not be created or destroyed



    The separation of electric charges

    Electric Field Strength

    E= F(on)q´/q´

    Electric Potential Difference

    (change in)V=W(on)q´/q´

    Electric Field


    Gravitational Force


    Electric Potential Difference in a Uniform Field

    (change in)V=Ed

    Capacitance Equation

    C=q/(change in)V


    P=IV, P=(I^2)(R), P=(V^2)/(R)





    R(eq) IN SERIES




    Potential Difference

    A condition that must exist between two points in a conductor in order to maintain a flow of charge

    Equations with time


    Current in SERIES


    Current in Parallel


    Voltage in SERIES


    Voltage in PARALLEL


    Unit for Resistance


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