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Electricity and Electronics

Updated on November 23, 2011
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Introduction

This hub is all about how electricity behaves and how electronics works. Electricity is the driving force behind almost all devices made today. We use electricity every single day, yet some people do not understand how it works. Electricity is quite simple and there are a few terms that you should know before you can start to grasp the idea of how electricity behaves. Electricity is basically a flow of electrons from on point to another.

Current- Measured in amps this is the flow of electrons past a certain point. Current is actually the lethal component of electricity.

Resistance- This is a characteristic of the conductor that the electricity is flowing through. Some conductors have more resistance than others and that is why we commonly use copper as conductor. Copper has a low level of resistance, which means that copper allows electrons to flow easily through it. Conductors that have a high level of resistance tend to build heat. We measure the resistance of a material in Ohms.

Voltage- This is the force behind the flow of electrons. Voltage is sort of like water pressure for electricity. The higher the voltage the greater the force behind the electrons.

Energy- This is unexpressed power and we measure this in joules.

Power- This is the measurement of expressed energy. This is measured in watts.




Components

Component are the conductive obstacles that electricity flows through in order to manipulate certain properties of the electrical flow. Below I have listed a number of components and what they do to the electrical flow.

Resistors- Almost all matter has some amount of electrical resistance. That means that the material slows down the flow of electrons because of its physical properties. Whenever there is a resistance to electrical current there is also heat dissipation. Resistors are components that are made to have a very specific amount of resistance so that the next component can handle the amount of flow.

Capacitors- These are components that store electrical charge. The amount of charge in a capacitor is measure in Farads, which is named after Michael Faraday. Capacitors act as a sort of reservoir of electricity that is stored until needed.

Diodes-These components are used to allow current to flow in one direction with very little resistance, but not at all in the other direction. When the diode allows current to flow we call this forward biased. When the diode allows no current to flow we call this reverse biased.

Inductor- This is a component that is actually just a wire that is wound into a coil. Sometimes this coil will have a piece of iron running through the coil in order to enhance its effect. An inductor actually steps up voltage due to the effect of the wire being close to itself.

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