Chapter 12: Electric Circuits

Unit 5: Electricity
Chapter 12: Electric Circuits
 12.1
Electric Circuits
 12.2
Current and Voltage
 12.3
Resistance and Ohm's Law
12.1 Investigation: Measuring Voltage and
Key Question:
How do you measure voltage
and current in electric
Build simple circuits and draw circuit diagrams.
 Measure current and voltage in a battery.
 Identify electrical conductors and insulators.
Electric current
 Electric
current is similar in
some ways to a current of
 Like
electric current, water
current can carry energy and
do work.
 A waterwheel
turns when a
current of water exerts a force
on it.
Electric Circuits
 An
electric circuit is a complete path through
which electric current travels.
 A good
example of a circuit is the one found in an
electric toaster.
Electric Circuits
 Wires
in electric circuits are similar in some ways to
pipes and hoses that carry water.
Natural circuits
These are some examples of natural electrical
1. The nerves in your body form an electrical circuit
that carries messages from your brain to your
muscles and other parts of the body.
2. The tail of an electric eel makes a circuit when it
stuns its prey with a jolt of electricity.
3. An electric circuit with a large amount of energy is
formed when lightning carries electric current
between clouds and the ground.
Electric Circuits
 When
drawing a circuit diagram, symbols are
used to represent each part of the circuit.
Electric Circuits
 Electrical
symbols are
quicker and easier to draw
than realistic pictures of
the components.
Electric current
 Electric
current is caused by moving electric
 Electric
current comes from the motion of electrons.
 A resistor
is an electrical device that uses the
energy carried by electric current in a specific way.
 Any
electrical device that uses energy can be
shown with a resistor symbol.
Current in a circuit
 Current
only flows when
there is a complete and
unbroken path, or a
closed circuit.
 Flipping
a switch to the
“off” position creates an
open circuit by making a
break in the wire.
Unit 5: Electricity
Chapter 12: Electric Circuits
 12.1
Electric Circuits
 12.2
Current and Voltage
 12.3
Resistance and Ohm's Law
12.2 Investigation: Resistance and Ohm's
Key Questions:
What is the relationship between
current, voltage and resistance?
Measure resistance in a circuit.
 Use Ohm’s law to identify the mystery resistor in a circuit.
 Investigate the relationship between voltage drop across
the potentiometer and voltage drop across the bulb in a
Current and voltage
 Electric
current is measured in units called
amperes, or amps (A) for short.
 One
amp is a flow of a certain quantity of
electricity in one second.
 The
amount of electric current entering a circuit
always equals the amount exiting the circuit.
 Voltage
is a measure of electric potential
energy, just like height is a measure of
gravitational potential energy.
 Voltage
is measured in volts (V).
 A voltage
difference of 1 volt means 1
amp of current does 1 joule of work in 1
 A difference
in voltage provides the energy that
causes current to flow.
 A useful
meter is a multimeter,
 can
measure voltage or
current, and sometimes
 To
measure voltage, the
meter’s probes are touched to
two places in a circuit or across
a battery.
 A battery
uses stored
chemical energy to create the
voltage difference.
 Three
1.5-volt batteries can
be stacked to make a total
voltage of 4.5 volts in a
 A pump
is like a battery because it brings water
from a position of low energy to high energy.
Measuring current
If you want to measure
current you must force the
current to pass through the
 Multimeters
can measure
two types of current:
alternating current (AC)
and direct current (DC).
Fuses and current
 The
meter used with your electric circuit
investigations has a fuse inside.
 The
meter can be damaged or the fuse blown, if too
much current passes through it.
Protecting circuits
Circuit breakers and fuses are two kinds of
devices that protect circuits from too much current
by making a break that stops the current.
Unit 5: Electricity
Chapter 12: Electric Circuits
 12.1
Electric Circuits
 12.2
Current and Voltage
 12.3
Resistance and Ohm's Law
12.3 Investigation: Building an Electric
Circuit Game
Key Questions:
How can you use electricity to
test your manual dexterity?
Apply their knowledge of electric circuits to build a game.
Analyze the construction of the game in terms of electrical
 Consider the effects of varying the construction of the electric
circuits game.
 Resistance
is the
measure of how strongly
an object resists current
flowing through it.
 The
relationship between
electric current and
resistance can be
compared with water
flowing from the open end
of a bottle.
 The
total amount of resistance in a circuit
determines the amount of current in the circuit for a
given voltage.
 Electrical
resistance is measured in units called
 This
unit is abbreviated with the Greek letter
omega (Ω).
Ohm’s Law
 The
current in a circuit depends on voltage and
 Ohm’s
law relates current, voltage, and
resistance with one formula.
 If
you know two of the three quantities, you can
use Ohm’s law to find the third.
Calculating current
A toaster has a resistance of 12 ohms and is plugged
into a 120-volt outlet. How much current in amps
does it use?
Looking for: …the current in amps
Given: …resistance (12 Ω ) and voltage (120 V)
Relationships: Use: I = V ÷ R
Solution: I = 120 V ÷ 12  = 10 A
Resistance of common objects
 Every
electrical device is
designed with a resistor
that causes the right
amount of current to flow
when the device is
connected to voltage.
Resistance of common objects
 The
resistance of many
electrical devices varies with
temperature and current.
 A light
bulb’s resistance
increases when there is more
current because the bulb
gets hotter when more
current passes through it.
You are Wired!
Your nervous system uses specialized cells called neurons to
transfer electrical signals from one part of your body to another.
A neuron has three basic parts: the cell body; a long, thin
portion called the axon; and fingerlike projections called
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