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Electricity and Magnetism

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Electricity and magnetism

Electricity and Magnetism

Electricity and magnetism

ZZZAPP! A jagged bolt of lightning slashes and flashes through the sky. Less than a second later, it’s gone. But then more and more brilliant bolts appear, briefly connecting the clouds to the ground. Like snowflakes and grains of sand, each bolt is unique. BOOOOM!! The sound of thunder startles you. You are glad that you are indoors, watching this dazzling “spark-a-palooza” through a window. What causes this super-charged sight that can pack a deadly wallop?

How does the electric energy in a battery get to a light bulb

How does the electric energy in a battery get to a light bulb?

  • Static electricity stays in one place. But most electricity is on the go.

  • An electric charge in motion is called an electric current.

The electric charge flows from one place to another.

An electric current travels quickly and invisibly.

Check out the closed

circuit on the next slide!

Q what is the difference between an insulator and a conductor

Q. What is the difference between an insulator and a conductor?

A. An insulator, such as plastic, is a material through which electric charges cannot travel easily. A conductor is a material, such as metal wire, through which electric charges can travel easily.

Electricity and magnetism

  • In a simple circuit, known as a series circuit, electric charge can flow only in one path.

  • When the power source is turned on, the charged particles in the wire flow in one direction around a single loop.

  • Any bulb along this path receives the same amount of electrical energy.

  • If all the bulbs are identical, none will be any brighter than the others.

Electricity and magnetism

Today, people rarely use series circuits. Our appliances and other electrical equipment need different amounts of current.

Parallel circuit

Parallel circuit

  • A parallel circuit has two or more paths for the electric charge to follow.

  • The main loop leaves from and returns to the power source.

Parallel circuit1

Parallel circuit

  • Along the loop, there are little loops. Each little loop is a separate path for the electric charge.

  • How the charges flow through each little loop does not affect the flow of charges in any other path.

Q why are most homes wired in a parallel circuit rather than a series circuit

Q. Why are most homes wired in a parallel circuit rather than a series circuit?

A parallel circuit has a number of

advantages over a series circuit. If one electrical appliance in a parallel circuit malfunctions or is turned off, other devices in the loop can still receive electric current. Different electric devices can receive different amounts of electric current. All devices in a series loop can receive only the same amount of electricity.





  • A magnet is anything that attracts other things made of iron, steel, and certain other metals.

  • Magnetism is a force that acts on moving electric charge and magnetic materials that are near a magnet.

Electricity and magnetism

If you break a magnet into two pieces, what happens to its magnetic poles?

Electricity and magnetism

If you break a magnet into two pieces, you will have two magnets, each with its own north-seeking pole and south-seeking pole.

Electricity and magnetism

What is a closed circuit?

A loop with no breaks through which electric current can flow

Electricity and magnetism

What happens to an

electric current at a


If the switch is closed, the current flows. If the switch is open, the current does not flow

Electricity and magnetism

If you find a metal bar, how can you determine if it is a magnet?

Put the metal bar near something made of iron or steel, and see if there is an attraction between the two. If there is, then the metal bar is a magnet.

Electricity and magnetism

What is an electric charge in motion called?

An electric charge in motion is called an electric current.

Electricity and magnetism

The Electrical Safety Foundation urges everyone to remember the 4 Rs of electrical safety:

Electricity and magnetism

Respect the power of electricity.

Read and follow the instructions that come with every electrical product

Replace worn or cracked electrical cords.

Relocate, or move, appliance cords so people will not walk on or trip over them, and children or pets can’t pull them

Electricity and magnetism

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