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ELECTRICITY

Tabla de contenido
1. ELECTRICITY ......................................................................................................... 1
2. DIFFERENT MATERIALS ACCORDING TO THEIR ELECTRICAL
BEHAVIOUR ................................................................................................................... 2
3. ELECTRIC CURRENT ............................................................................................ 2
4. REAL DIRECTION OF ELECTRIC CURRENT .................................................... 2
5. ELECTRIC CIRCUIT. COMPONENTS.................................................................. 2
5.1. Generators .............................................................................................................. 3
5.2. Conductors ............................................................................................................. 3
5.3. Appliances (receivers) ........................................................................................... 3
5.4. Control elements .................................................................................................... 4
6. ELECTRIC MAGNITUDES .................................................................................... 5
7. OHM'S LAW ............................................................................................................ 6
8. TYPES OF CIRCUITS ............................................................................................. 8
8.1. Series circuit. ......................................................................................................... 8
8.2. Parallel circuit. ....................................................................................................... 8
8.3. Mixed circuits. ....................................................................................................... 8
10. HOW TO CHANGE THE WAY A MOTOR SPINS ........................................... 9
Technology, programming and robotics 1 ESO Electricity

1. ELECTRICITY
Electricity is the science that studies electrons.
The smallest parts of matter we can indentify are atoms. They are
composed of:
Electrons
Protons (positive charge) +
Electrons (negative charge) -
Neutrons (no electrical charge)

Nucleus
(protons +
neutrons)

In general, all materials are neutral (they have the same number of
positive and negative charges.
But if we provide some energy, it is possible for some substances to
move the electrons from one atom to the next, creating matter with
positive charge (default of electrons), and matter with negative
charge (with extra electrons).

As you already know, same sign charges are repelled between them,
and different sign charges are attracted to each other.
If you connect a body negative charged with other positive charged, the
electrons will pass from the negative pole to the positive pole
(through the conductor), until both bodies are balanced electrically.
This is what happens in a battery. The difference of charges between
the 2 poles is called voltage. And this is the cause of the movement of
electrons above the conductor (electric current).
(Electrons cant move inside the battery, so if we connect a wire between
the 2 poles, an electric current will be established).

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2. DIFFERENT MATERIALS ACCORDING TO THEIR ELECTRICAL


BEHAVIOUR
Depending on the electrical behaviour of the materials, we can
distinguish two main groups:
Conductors. They allow electric current to pass through them. All
metals are good conductors, such as copper or aluminium.
Insulators. They don't allow electric current to pass through
them. Wood, plastic, glass and air are insulators.
The physical difference between them is how difficult is for an electron
to jump and hit other electron in the next atom.

3. ELECTRIC CURRENT
An electric current is a route and electrons circulate around this
route. There are two types of current:
Direct current: electrons always flow in the same direction, from
the negative terminal to the positive terminal. The energy we need to
move electrons is provided by batteries. This is the current that we are
going to work with.
Alternating current: electrons keep changing its direction many
times in a second. We obtain this alternating current through
generators in power stations and it is sent to buildings where we can
use it through sockets.

4. REAL DIRECTION OF ELECTRIC CURRENT


Although are the electrons the particles that move from the negative to
the positive pole, we consider that they move from the positive to the
negative pole, because in the past they used to think it happened this
way, so we have preserved this agreement.

5. ELECTRIC CIRCUIT. COMPONENTS.


An electric circuit is a combination of electric components in order to
control how some receptors work.

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It consists of a generator which provides energy to electrons; we need


also a path where the electrons can flow (wires); besides, we have an
appliance that transforms electric energy into usable energy; and we
also need components that allow us to connect and disconnect the
circuit.
Components of an electric circuit
Depending on their function in a circuit, we can classify electric
components into four different groups.

5.1. Generators
They provide the necessary energy for electrons to circulate. The ones
that we use most are batteries, which generate energy by means of
chemical processes.

Battery symbol:

Voltage or tension (V) is the energy that a battery or generator can


provide for each electron. It is measured in volts (V).

5.2. Conductors
They allow electronic current to go from the battery to the receivers
and return to the battery. They are wires, usually made of cupper or
aluminium covered by plastic.

Wire symbol:

5.3. Appliances (receivers)


They receive energy through current and transform it into a different
form of energy. The most common receivers are:
Light bulb. They transform electricity into light.

Light bulb symbol:

Motors. They transform electricity into movement (rotary


movement).

Motor symbol:
M

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Bells. They transform electricity into sound.

Bell symbol:

In general, receivers oppose a difficulty to the movement of electrons.


This difficulty is known as electrical resistance (R) and it is measured
in ohms ().
The resistance transforms electricity into heat. If we don't want to
obtain heat, resistance is going to produce a loss of energy.
When we want to transform electricity into heat, we use receivers
called resistors.

Resistor symbol:

5.4. Control elements


They help us to get the circuit works properly. They direct and
interrupt electric current.
Switch. It has two stable positions: open and closed. If the switch is
open, it interrupts the flow. If the switch is closed, it allows the flow.

Switch symbol: open ; closed

We usually draw open switches when drawing circuits.

Example 1. Draw an electric circuit in which we can connect or disconnect


a light bulb.

Push button. It has two positions: one stable position when we don't
press the button and another unstable position when we press the
button.
There are two types of push buttons: normally open and normally
closed.
o Normally open push button. It remains open unless we press
it.

Symbol:

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o Normally closed push button. It remains closed unless we


press it.
Symbol:

Example 2. Draw a circuit in which a bell sounds when we press a push


button.

Example 3. Draw a circuit in which a motor keeps rotating unless we


press a push button.

Two-way switches. They direct the current flowing through a


branch of a circuit and prevent the current entering another branch.
Depending on the branches there are also three-way switches, four-
way switches...

Symbol of a two-way switch:

Example 4. Draw a circuit in which a light bulb or a bell keeps working,


but not together at the same time.

6. ELECTRIC MAGNITUDES
A magnitude is something we can measure. In an electric circuit we
are going to work with three different magnitudes.
Voltage or tension or potential difference (V). Is the energy
(strength) that a battery or generator can provide for each electron.
We measure voltage in volts (V).
Resistance (R). Is the difficulty that receivers oppose to the flow of
electrons. We measure resistance in ohms ().

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Current (I). Is the number or electrons that flow through a


conductor per second. We measure electric current in amperes A.

7. OHM'S LAW
There is a relationship among the different electric magnitudes.
If we increase the voltage of the battery, the current also increases; if
we reduce the voltage, the current also decreases. This means that
current and voltage are directly proportional.
If we increase the resistance of a receiver, the current is reduced; if we
reduce the resistance of a receiver, the current gets bigger. This means
that current and resistance are inversely proportional.
We can sum up these ideas in the Ohm's law equation:
V
I =
R

Example 5. Calculate the current that flows through the bulb.

V 20 v
I = = = 5A
R 4

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Example 6. Work out the voltage the battery must have to send a 4 A
current through a 7 motor.
First of all we have to isolate the voltage in the Ohm's law equation and
then substitute the data.

V
I = I R = V V = I R = 4 A 7 = 28 v
R

Example 7. Calculate the resistance of a bell. When we connect it to a 27


V battery, it flows a 9 A current through it.
First of all we isolate the resistance and then we use the data.

V V 27 v
I = I R = V R = = = 3
R I 9A

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8. TYPES OF CIRCUITS
When we want to connect several receivers to the same circuit, there
are three possibilities: series, parallel and mixed circuits.

8.1. Series circuit.


Two or more receivers are in series when the exit of one
is also the entrance of the next.
If a receiver breaks down, the rest of them cannot
work.

8.2. Parallel circuit.


The components of a circuit have the same entrance and the same
exit.
If any receiver breaks down, the rest of receivers keep on working.

8.3. Mixed circuits.


Some elements are connected in series and some in parallel.

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9. HOW TO CHANGE THE WAY A MOTOR SPINS

When we connect a motor to a circuit, its shaft can rotate in two


different directions: clockwise or counter clockwise.

The way the motor rotates depends on the way we connect it to the
battery, it is to say, the polarity. There are two options:
In the circuit below, the upper connector of the motor is connected
to the positive pole of the battery and the lower to the negative.

If we want to change the polarity we turn the battery around so


that the upper connector receives the negative pole and the lower the
positive.

When we change the polarity in a motor, we change the way it spins


as well.
Therefore, if the following motor is rotating clockwise,

when we change the polarity, it will rotate counter clockwise.

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It's not very useful if we have to turn the battery around every time we
want to change the way a motor spin. To make it easier, we can use a
double two-way switch placed as we can see below.
You can realize the upper part of the motor connects to the positive pole
and the lower to the negative.

But if we change the position of the double two-way switch, we make


the upper part of the motor connect to the negative pole and the lower
to the positive, so we change the way the motor rotates in a more
convenient way.

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