Physics Themed: Unit 6 "Electric Current & Circuits"

06- Electric Current and Circuits
Summary: In the last unit we learned about static electricity and electric fields. If static electricity is about stationary charges, then current electricity is about moving or flowing charges. Voltage provides a “push” and if we include a copper wire conductor, electrons will flow the wire, just like gravity pushes water downhill in a channel - the river current. In this unit we lean about what current is and find out that electrons “drift” very slowly from the light switch to the light bulb. We learn about Ohm’s law and the concepts of current and resistance. From this, we learn to calculate the power and energy consumed by a circuit and find realistic cost estimates that help you gain an appreciation for the cost of energy. We learn techniques of drawing and solving unknowns in simple circuits using ohm’s law and the behavior of resistors in series and parallel. After learning the theory, we spend several days using a multimeter with real DC circuit boards where you will have a practical circuit board test in addition to the regular multiple choice/math test. You will also be expected to read resistance in ohms based on stripes using a key provided. At the end of this unit you will design and build a robot to help study for the test.

Resources: Online book chapters 25, 27, work packet, handouts, circuit boards/multimeters.


Unit 06: Electric Current & Circuits

Vocab & skills

Objectives, vocabulary & equations

Other important files (resources)

  1. Work Packet - Electric Current & Circuits
  2. Robot Project

Tutorials (right-click and save file locally ("save target as"), then play)

More Links

  1. All Unit 6 Electricity Notes
  2. Tutorial 07-01 - Basic circuit example, schematic, Resistors, batteries & symbols/units, series resistors, current, voltage, Ohm's law1
  3. Tutorial 07-02 - Parallel resistors, Cost of electricity, Wire resistance/drift velocity
  4. Notes 07-03 - Solving Simple Circuits Mathematically, Wire paths make voltages same!, examples, Circuit strategies, Finding power & cost0
  5. Tutorial 07-04 - AC vs DC, Electricity kills, Circuit breakers/fuses
  6. Tutorial 07-05 - Circuit board care, Multimeter: introduction, plug placement, dial setting, conductivity test, ammeter/voltmeter: circuit placement, examples
  7. Tutorial 07-06 - Resistor codes, Schematics & equivalent equipment diagrams, Consequences of bulb changes
  8. Lab 2: DC only version of Circuit Construction Kit (CCK)
  9. Help with CCK computations and operations (help file)
  10. LAB 2: Circuit construction kit JAR file (copy to desktop, run locally)
  11. Some common electrical symbols
  12. Using multimeters - internet slides 1
  13. Using multimeters - internet slides 2