Presentation on Electric Field

By Mr. Frank Todd
Notes provided by Mr. Joe Martonik
A. Electric Charges & Static
1. Types of Electric Charge & Interaction
Protons= + charge
Electrons= - charge
Like charges repel (+ +, - -)
Unlike charges attract ( + - )
• 2. Electric Fields
• The area around electric charges that has the
force of the charge exerted on it.
• When a charge is placed in an electric field, it is
pulled or pushed.
• The field is the strongest near the charged
• 3. Static Charge: Results from a build up or
redistribution of charge on an object.
• Charged Objects:
– Some materials hold their electrons well
(insulators). Some do not and the electrons move
freely from atom to atom (conductors).
– A neutral object can become charged by gaining or
losing electrons.
– A build up of charges is called static electricity.
– (The charges build up but do NOT FLOW)
Give up electrons easily
Triboelelectric series
Gain electrons easily
•Human hands (usually too moist, though) Very positive
•Rabbit Fur
•Human hair
•Steel Neutral
•Hard rubber
•Nickel, Copper
•Brass, Silver
•Gold, Platinum
•Styrene (Styrofoam)
•Saran Wrap
•Polyethylene (like Scotch Tape)
•Vinyl (PVC)
•Teflon Very negative
• Transferring Charge: Charges can be
transferred by the following ways.
– Friction—by rubbing materials against one another
• Transferring Charge: Charges can be
transferred by the following ways.
– Conduction—by direct contact between two objects
• Transferring Charge: Charges can be
transferred by the following ways.
– Induction—movement of electrons to one side of an
object. (Caused by an electric field of another
• Static Cling: Clothes stick together because
each piece of clothing contains opposite charges.
What caused the clothes to be charged?
• Rubbing between clothes as they tumble
about in the dryer.
• 4. Static Discharge:
– When there is a loss of static electricity as electric
charges move off an object, it is called static discharge.
– Humidity: Water molecules in the air can pick up
electrons which may be in the process of being
transferred. Charge then cannot build up on an object.
• 4. Static Discharge:
– Sparks & Lightning:
– A spark results when electrons jump from one object to
– Lightning is a giant spark created when water droplets
become charged by swirling wind during a storm.
Electrons collect in the lower part of the clouds. To
restore a neutral condition, electrons jump from the
clouds to the ground.
• 5. Detecting Charge:
– An electroscope is a device used to detect electric
– The device cannot tell if it is storing + or – charges.
– Can only detect the presence of a charge.
B. Circuit Measurements
• 1. Electrical Potential:
• It is the potential energy per unit of electric
• Electrons flow from places of higher
potential to places of lower potential.
– This called Potential Difference.
• 2. Voltage & Sources:
• Voltage is measured by a voltmeter.
• Potential difference provides the force that pushes
charge through a circuit.
• This force is called the Volt.
• Electrons will flow in a circuit as long as there is a
potential difference or voltage between 2 parts of a
• As voltage increases the flow of electrons increases.
• Batteries and Generators serve as voltage sources.
• 3. Resistance: The opposition to flow of electric
charges in a circuit.
• The greater the resistance in a circuit, the less
current or flow of electrons for a given voltage.
• Influences on Resistance:
– A wires length and thickness
– Thick + Short wires = low resistance
– Temperature—Low temperature= lower resistance
• Ohms= unit for measuring Resistance
• 4. Current: Is the number of electrons passing a
point in a given amount of time.
• Current always flows through a path of
least resistance.
• Current will increase/decrease based on the battery
construction or source of electrons.
• Amps=unit of measuring current
• Measured by an Ammeter.
Common tools and their Amperage
bug killer 1-2
fan = 1-3
hedge trimmer 23
weed trimmer 2-4
electric drill 3-6
saber saw 4-8
sander 4-8
band saw 5-12
lawn mower 6-12 grinder 7-10
chain saw 7-12
drill press 7-14
belt sander 7-15
shop vac 8-14
lawn edger 9-10
table saw 12-15
compressor 9-15
snow blower 1215
circular saw 1215
1/4 HP motor = 6
3/4 HP motor =
14 amps
1 HP motor = 16
router 8-13
1/2 HP motor =
10 amps
5. Ohm’s Law
Resistance = Voltage/Current
Ohms = Volts/Amps
R= V/I
V= RxI
I = V/R
R x I
• Sample Problem:
• A 0.40 amp current is produced when a
12 Volt battery is connected to a headlight.
How much resistance is produced by the
• R=V/I
• R= 12 V/0.40Amps
• R= 30 Ohms
C. Series and Parallel Circuits
• 1. Series Circuits
• A circuit where all the parts are connected “one after the
other” creating only one path for the flow of electrons.
• If one bulb in a series circuit burns out or is removed
the circuit is broken and all the bulbs go out.
• As more bulbs are added, they get dimmer b/c the
resistance increases.
• Ammeters should be wired in series.
C. Series and Parallel Circuits
• 2. Parallel Circuits
• Different parts of the circuit are on different branches.
This type of circuit provides different paths for the
electric current. (Each bulb has it’s own path.)
• If one bulb is removed or burns out there are other paths
for the current to take so the other bulbs stay lit.
• Parallel circuits glow brighter because more current
flows to the bulbs.
• As more branches are added to a parallel circuit the
resistance decreases.
• Voltmeters should be wired in parallel.
Label each type of circuit below.
• 3. Household Circuits:
• Must be wired in Parallel
• Electricity is fed into a home by Thick and Heavy
wires called lines. These have low resistance.
• Parallel branches extend from the lines to the
wall sockets and Appliances.
• Switches are placed to control branches of circuits
one at a time.
• Voltage in house circuits is 120 Volts.
D. Electrical Safety
• 1. Becoming Part of a Circuit
• Short Circuit—A connection that allows a
current to take an unintended path.
• If you touch an exposed wire in the house, 120
Volts of current will pass into your body. This is
called a SHOCK.
• 2. Grounding:
• Additional wire in circuit to protect a person
from shock.
• Plugs have a 3rd prong. This connects the metal
shell of the appliance to the ground wire of the
• Lightning rod-metal rod mounted to the roof of a
building. If lightning strikes the rod the energy
flows down the rod to a ground wire and then
into the Earth.
• 3. Fuses and Circuit Breakers:
• When a wire carries more current than it is
designed to carry it will get HOT. The
insulation will then burn.
• Fuse-A device with a thin strip of wire (metal)
that will melt if too much current flows. This is
part of the circuit. (When the fuse melts or
“blows” the circuit is broken.)
• Circuit Breaker- device which uses an
electromagnet to turn off a circuit when it is
• 4. Electric Shocks:
• The human body depends on tiny electrical pulses
to control many processes (ex. Heart beat) An
electrical shock may disrupt these processes.
• The severity of the shock depends on the current.
A current of 0.2amps will burn and travel across
the body and could stop the heart.
• Current of an electric shock is related to voltage
and resistance.
• Your body has a low resistance (ions in fluids)
• When wet your bodies resistance is hundreds of
times lower.
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