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Electrostatics

Physics that deals with phenomena due to attractions or repulsions of electric charges but not dependent
upon their motion
Charging of insulators by friction?
When you rub two different insulating materials against each other they become electrically charged. This only works for
insulated objects - conductors direct the charge flow to earth.
When the materials are rubbed against each other:

Negatively charged particles called electrons move from one material to the other.
The material that loses electrons becomes positively charged.
The material that gains electrons becomes negatively charged.
Both materials gain an equal amount of charge, but the charges areopposite.
Attraction and repulsion
If two charged objects are brought close together they are either attracted towards each other, or they are repelled away from
each other. If they have the same type of charge they will repel and push away from each other. Two negative charges placed
near each other will repel each other, and so will two positive charges.
If they have opposite charges they will attract each other. When a positive charge and a negative charge are placed near each
other they will attract each other.
Electrically charged objects can attract small uncharged objects that are close to them. For example, an electrically charged
plastic comb can pick up small pieces of paper.
Uses of electrostatics
Static electricity has many practical uses. Photocopiers and laser printers, defibrillators, electrostatic dust precipitators and
paint sprayers are all practical applications of static electricity.
Uses of electrostatics
Static electricity has many uses in everyday life. You should know about the following examples:
Photocopiers and laser printers

The diagram shows how a photocopier works. A laser printer works in a similar way.
Defibrillators
A defibrillator is a machine that can be used by paramedics to restart your heart if it stops.
Two paddles with insulated handles are charged from a high voltage supply. They're put in good electrical contact with the
patients chest. It's important that no one else gets a shock, which is why the paddles have insulating handles and the operator
tells any one nearby to 'stand clear' before charge is passed through the patient to make the heart contract.
Electrostatic dust precipitators

Smoke is produced when fossil fuels burn. Smoke is made of tiny solid particles, such as carbon. To remove these particles
from the waste gases an electrostatic precipitator is used.

1.
2.
3.

Smoke particles pick up a negative charge.


Smoke particles are attracted to the collecting plates.
Collecting plates are knocked to remove the smoke particles.
Paint spraying
Car manufacturers can save money by using charged paint spray guns. They work because like charges repel and unlike
charges attract.
The spray gun is charged positively, which causes every paint particle to become positively charged. Like charges repel and
the paint particles spread out. The object to be painted is given a negative charge and so attracts the paint particles. The
advantages of using this system are that less paint is wasted, the object receives aneven coat and the paint covers awkward
shadow surfaces that the operator cannot see.
Uses of electrostatics
Static electricity has many practical uses. Photocopiers and laser printers, defibrillators, electrostatic dust precipitators and
paint sprayers are all practical applications of static electricity.
Uses of electrostatics
Static electricity has many uses in everyday life. You should know about the following examples:
Photocopiers and laser printers

The diagram shows how a photocopier works. A laser printer works in a similar way.

Defibrillators
A defibrillator is a machine that can be used by paramedics to restart your heart if it stops.
Two paddles with insulated handles are charged from a high voltage supply. They're put in good electrical contact with the
patients chest. It's important that no one else gets a shock, which is why the paddles have insulating handles and the operator
tells any one nearby to 'stand clear' before charge is passed through the patient to make the heart contract.
Electrostatic dust precipitators
Smoke is produced when fossil fuels burn. Smoke is made of tiny solid particles, such as carbon. To remove these particles
from the waste gases an electrostatic precipitator is used.

1.
2.
3.

Smoke particles pick up a negative charge.


Smoke particles are attracted to the collecting plates.
Collecting plates are knocked to remove the smoke particles.
Paint spraying
Car manufacturers can save money by using charged paint spray guns. They work because like charges repel and unlike
charges attract.
The spray gun is charged positively, which causes every paint particle to become positively charged. Like charges repel and
the paint particles spread out. The object to be painted is given a negative charge and so attracts the paint particles. The
advantages of using this system are that less paint is wasted, the object receives aneven coat and the paint covers awkward
shadow surfaces that the operator cannot see.
Problems with static
Here are some examples of problems associated with static:

it is a nuisance when dust and dirt are attracted to insulators such as TV screens and computer monitors.

it is a nuisance when clothes made from synthetic materials cling to each other and to the body, especially just after
they've been in a tumble dryer
Anti-static sprays, liquids and cloths prevent the build-up of charge by allowing it to conduct away.
Dangers of static
Static electricity can build up in clouds. This can cause a huge spark to form between the ground and the cloud. This causes
lightning a flow of charge through the atmosphere.
Here are some examples of dangers associated with static electricity:

It is dangerous when there are flammable gases or a high concentration of oxygen. A spark could ignite the gases
and cause an explosion.

It is dangerous when you touch something with a large electric charge on it. The charge will flow through your body
causing an electric shock. This could cause burns or even stop your heart. A person could die from an electric
shock.
Refuelling aircrafts and tankers also poses a particular danger. If the fuel passing along the hose to the vehicle was allowed to
build up a static charge, a resulting spark might ignite the fuel. The hoses are earthed to stop this occurring.
An electric current is a flow of electric charge. In electric circuits this charge is often carried by moving electrons in a wire. It can
also be carried by ions in an electrolyte, or by both ions and electrons such as in a plasma.

conductor

A material through which electric current can pass. In general, metals are goodconductors. Copper or aluminum is normally
used to conduct electricity in commercial and household systems. (Compare insulator.)
Insulator
A material or an object that does not easily allow heat, electricity, light, or sound to pass through it. Air, cloth and rubber are
good electrical insulators; feathers and wool make good thermal insulators. Compare conductor.
An ammeter is a measuring device used to measure the electric current in a circuit. A voltmeter is connected in parallel with a
device to measure its voltage, while anammeter is connected in series with a device to measure its current.
Current-potential difference graphs
Take a graph where the current flow is shown on the vertical axis and the potential difference is shown on the horizontal axis.
This shows that as the current changes in a component, so does the potential difference.
You should be able to recognise these graphs for resistors at constant temperature, for filament lamps, and for diodes.
Resistor at constant temperature

A graph with current on the y axis and voltage on the x axis. A diagonal line goes through the graph at 45 degrees
The current flowing through a resistor at a constant temperature is directly proportional to the potential difference across it. A
component that gives a graph like the one to the right is said to follow Ohm's Law.
The filament lamp

Lamp
The filament lamp is a common type of light bulb. It contains a thin coil of wire called the filament. This heats up when an
electric current passes through it and produces light as a result.

The filament lamp does not follow Ohm's Law. Its resistance increases as the temperature of its filament increases. So the
current flowing through a filament lamp is not directly proportional to the voltage across it. This is the graph of current against
voltage for a filament lamp.
The diode
You should be able to recognise the graph of current against voltage for a diode.

Diode
Diodes are electronic components that can be used to regulate the potential difference in circuits and to make logic gates.
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) give off light and are often used for indicator lights in electrical equipment such as computers and
television sets.

The diode has a very high resistance in one direction. This means that current can only flow in the other direction. This is the
graph of current against potential difference for a diode.

Resistor in series
When resistors are connected in series, the current through each resistor is the same. In other words, the current is the same
at all points in a series circuit.
When resistors are connected in series, the total potential difference across all the resistors is equal to the sum of the potential
differences across each resistor.
In other words, the potential differences around the circuit add up to the potential difference of the supply.
The total resistance of a number of resistors in series is equal to the sum of all the individual resistances.

In the circuit above, the following applies

I1 = I2 = I3
VT = V1 + V2 + V3
And so, therefore, RT = R1 + R2 + R3
Resistors in parallel
When resistors are connected in parallel, the supply current is equal to the sum of the currents through each resistor. In other
words the currents in the branches of a parallel circuit add up to the supply current.

When resistors are connected in parallel, they have the same potential difference across them. In other words, any components
in parallel have the same potential difference across them.

For the circuit above, the formula for finding the total resistance of resistors in parallel is 1/R T = 1/R1 + 1/R2 + 1/R3

IT = I1 + I2 + I3
V1 = V2 = V3
And so 1/RT = 1/R1 + 1/R2 + 1/R3
Combinations of Resistors
Resistors do not occur in isolation. They are almost always part of a larger circuit, and frequently that larger circuit
contains many resistors. It is often the case that resistors occur in combinations that repeat
Series Combinations of Resistors
Two elements are said to be in series whenever the same current physically flows through both of the elements. The
critical point is that the same current flows through both resistors when two are in series. The particular configuration does not
matter. The only thing that matters is that exactly the same current flows through both resistors. Current flows into one
element, through the element, out of the element into the other element, through the second element and out of the second
element. No part of the current that flows through one resistor "escapes" and none is added. This figure shows several
different ways that two resistors in series might appear as part of a larger circuit diagram.
lectrical circuits can be represented by circuit diagrams. The various electrical components are shown by using standard
symbols in circuit diagrams. Components can be connected in series, or in parallel. The characteristics of the current and
potential difference (voltage) are different in series and parallel circuits.
Circuit symbols
You need to be able to draw and interpret circuit diagrams.
Standard symbols
The diagram below shows the standard circuit symbols you need to know.

Open Switch

Closed Switch

Lamp

Cell

Battery

Voltmeter

Resistor

Fuse

Ammeter

Variable resistor

Light emitting diode (LED)

Diode

Thermistor

Light dependent resistor (LDR)

Power and energy


Power
Power is a measure of how quickly energy is transferred. The unit of power is the watt (W). You can work out power using this
equation:

Energy.
the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity.
"changes in the levels of vitamins can affect energy and well-being"
Current
A current flows when an electric charge moves around a circuit measured as therate of flow of charge. No current can flow if
the circuit is broken, for example, when a switch is open. Click on the animation to see what happens to the charge when the
switch is opened or closed.

Measuring current
current is measured in amperes - often abbreviated to amps or A
The current flowing through a component in a circuit is measured using anammeter
the ammeter must be connected in series with the component.

Potential difference (voltage)


A potential difference, also called voltage, across an electrical component is needed to make a current flow through it. Voltage
is the electrical pressure that gives a measure to the energy transferred. Cells or batteries often provide the potential difference
needed.

Measuring potential difference


Potential difference is measured in volts, V
Potential difference across a component in a circuit is measured using avoltmeter
The voltmeter must be connected in parallel with the component.

Voltage
Voltage is a measure of the difference in electrical energy between two parts of a circuit. The bigger the difference in energy,
the bigger the voltage.
Voltage is measured in volts. The symbol for volts is V. For example, 230V is a bigger voltage than 12V.
Measuring voltage
Voltage is meaured using a voltmeter. Some types of voltmeter have a pointer on a dial, but most have a digital readout. To
measure the voltage across a component in a circuit, you must connect the voltmeter in parallelwith it.

Using a voltmeter to measure the voltage across a lamp

You can measure the voltage across a cell or battery. The more cells, the bigger the voltage.

The more cells, the bigger the voltage

Energy transfer diagrams


Energy transfer diagrams show the locations of energy stores and energy transfers. For example, consider the energy transfers
in the simple electrical circuit below.

We can show the transfers like this:

ransformers
A transformer is an electrical device that changes the voltage of an ac supply. A transformer changes a high-voltage supply into
a low-voltage one, or vice versa.

A transformer that increases the voltage is called a step-up transformer.


A transformer that decreases the voltage is called a step-down transformer.
Step-down transformers are used in mains adapters and rechargers for mobile phones and CD players.
Transformers do not work with dc supplies.
A transformer consists of a pair of coils wound on an iron core. The AC in one coil produces a changing magnetic field. This
changing magnetic field induces a voltage in the other coil of the transformer.
The ratio between the voltages in the coils is the same as the ratio of the number of turns in the coils.
primary voltage / secondary voltage = turns on primary / turns on secondary
This can also be written as:
Vp

/Vs = Np/Ns

Step-up transformers have more turns on the secondary coil than they do on the primary coil.
Step-down transformers have fewer turns on the secondary coil than they do on the primary coil.
A transformer needs an alternating current that will create a changing magnetic field. A changing magnetic field also induces a
changing voltage in a coil. This is the basis of how a transformer works:

The primary coil is connected to an AC supply.


An alternating current passes through a primary coil wrapped around a soft iron core.
The changing current produces a changing magnetic field.
This induces an alternating voltage in the secondary coil.
This induces an alternating current (AC) in the circuit connected to the secondary coil.
It's important to know that:

There is no electrical connection between the primary and the secondary coils.
Transformers only work if AC is supplied to the primary coil. If DC was supplied, there would be no current in the
secondary coil.
As the current in the primary coil increases steadily or decreases steadily, there is a constant voltage induced in the
secondary coil.
As the voltage in the primary coil reaches maximum strength the voltage induced in the secondary coil is at its
weakest (zero volts).

Electricity generation is the process of generating electric power from other sources of primary energy.
Electromagnetic or Magnetic induction is the production of an electromotive force or voltage across an electrical conductor due
to its dynamic interaction with a magnetic field.
Electromagnetic induction
A voltage is produced when a magnet is moved into a coil of wire. This process is called induction. The direction of the induced
voltage is reversed when the magnet is moved out of the coil again. It can also be reversed if the other pole of the magnet is
moved into the coil.
If the coil is part of a complete circuit then a current will be induced in the circuit.
Generators
Mains electricity is produced by generators.

Spinning around
It is not practical to generate large amounts of electricity by passing a magnet in and out of a coil of wire. Instead, generators
induce a current by spinning a coil of wire inside a magnetic field, or by spinning a magnet inside a coil of wire. As this happens,
a potential difference is produced between the ends of the coil, which causes a current to flow.
One simple example of a generator is the bicycle dynamo. The dynamo has a wheel that touches the back tyre. As the bicycle
moves, the wheel turns a magnet inside a coil. This induces enough electricity to run the bicycle's lights.
Motion and energy

Notice that no voltage is induced when the magnet is still, even if it is inside the coil.
Increasing the induced voltage
To increase the induced voltage:

move the magnet faster


use a stronger magnet
increase the number of turns on the coil
increase the area of the coil

Kinematics is the branch of classical mechanics which describes the motion of points (alternatively "particles"), bodies
(objects), and systems of bodies without consideration of the masses of those objects nor the forces that may have caused the
motion.[1][2][3]Kinematics as a field of study is often referred to as the "geometry of motion" and as such may be seen as a branch
of mathematics.[4][5][6] Kinematics begins with a description of the geometry of the system and the initial conditions of known
values of the position, velocity and or acceleration of various points that are a part of the system, then from geometrical
arguments it can determine the position, the velocity and the acceleration of any part of the system. The study of the influence
of forces acting on masses falls within the purview of kinetics. For further details, see analytical dynamics.
Kinematics is used in astrophysics to describe the motion of celestial bodies and collections of such bodies. In mechanical
engineering, robotics, and biomechanics[7] kinematics is used to describe the motion of systems composed of joined parts
(multi-link systems) such as an engine, a robotic arm or the skeleton of the human body.

velocity is the speed with a direction, while speed does not have a direction. Speed is a scalar quantity -- it is the magnitude of
the velocity.Speed is measured in units of distance divided by time, e.g. miles per hour, feet per second, meters per second,
etc....
Distance-time graphs
You should be able to draw and explain distance-time graphs for objects moving at steady speeds or standing still.
Background information

The vertical axis of a distance-time graph is the distance travelled from the start, and the horizontal axis is the time taken from
the start.
Features of the graphs
When an object is stationary, the line on the graph is horizontal. When an object is moving at a steady speed, the line on the
graph is straight, but sloped.
The diagram shows some typical lines on a distance-time graph.

Distance - time graph


Note that the steeper the line, the greater the speed of the object. The blue line is steeper than the red line because it
represents an object moving faster than the object represented by the red line.
The red lines on the graph represent a typical journey where an object returns to the start again. Notice that the line
representing the return journey slopes downwards.
Changes in distances in one direction are positive, and negative in the other direction. If you walk 10m away from me, that can
be written as +10m; if you walk 3m towards me, that can be written as 3 m.
The velocity of an object is its speed in a particular direction. This means that two cars travelling at the same speed, but in
opposite directions, have different velocities. One velocity will be positive, and the velocity in the other direction will benegative.
The vertical axis of a velocity-time graph is the velocity of the object and the horizontal axis is the time taken from the start.
Features of the graphs
When an object is moving with a constant velocity, the line on the graph is horizontal. When an object is moving with a steadily
increasing velocity, or a steadily decreasing velocity, the line on the graph is straight, but sloped. The diagram shows some
typical lines on a velocity-time graph.

Speed - time graph


The steeper the line, the more rapidly the velocity of the object is changing. The blue line is steeper than the red line because it
represents an object that is increasing in velocity much more quickly than the one represented by the red line.
Notice that the part of the red line between 7 and 10 seconds is a line sloping downwards (with a negative gradient). This
represents an object that is steadily slowing down.
Finding the gradient of a straight-line graph
It is often useful or necessary to find out what the gradient of a graph is. For a straight-line graph, pick two points on the graph.
The gradient of the line = (change in y-coordinate)/(change in x-coordinate) .

In this graph, the gradient = (change in y-coordinate)/(change in x-coordinate) = (8-6)/(10-6) = 2/4 = 1/2
We can, of course, use this to find the equation of the line. Since the line crosses the y-axis when y = 3, the equation of this
graph is y = x + 3 .
Finding the gradient of a curve

To find the gradient of a curve, you must draw an accurate sketch of the curve. At the point where you need to know the
gradient, draw a tangent to the curve. A tangent is a straight line which touches the curve at one point only. You then find the
gradient of this tangent.
Example
Find the gradient of the curve y = x at the point (3, 9).

Gradient of tangent = (change in y)/(change in x)


= (9 - 5)/ (3 - 2.3)
= 5.71
Note: this method only gives an approximate answer. The better your graph is, the closer your answer will be to the correct
answer. If your graph is perfect, you should get an answer of 6 for the above question.
Parallel Lines
Two lines are parallel if they have the same gradent.
Example
The lines y = 2x + 1 and y = 2x + 3 are parallel, because both have a gradient of 2.

Perpendicular Lines (HIGHER TIER)


Two lines are perpendicular if one is at right angles to another- in other words, if the two lines cross and the angle between the
lines is 90 degrees.
If two lines are perpendicular, then their gradients will multiply together to give -1.
Example
Find the equation of a line perpendicular to y = 3 - 5x.
This line has gradient -5. A perpendicular line will have to have a gradient of 1/5, because then (-5) (1/5) = -1. Any line with
gradient 1/5 will be perpendicular to our line, for example, y = (1/5)x.

Average speed
The speed of an object tells you how fast or slow it is moving. You can find the average speed of an object if you know:

The distance travelled


The time taken to travel that distance
You can calculate average speed using the equation:
Speed = distance time
Distance-time graphs represent how an object moves. They show how the distance moved from a starting point changes over
time.
Calculating average speed
This equation shows the relationship between average speed, distance and time:
Average speed = distance time
For example, what is the average speed of a runner who covers 100 m in 10 s?
Average speed = 100 10 = 10 m/s
In science, average speed is usually given in metres per second, m/s. If you are given the distance in km, multiply it by 1000 to
get the distance in m.
For example, a car covers 2 km in 100 s. What is its average speed?
2 km = 2 1000 = 2000 m
Average speed = 2000 100 = 20 m/s