There are a number of terms used in the electrical industry that can be difficult to understand. We hope that this article will help you to familiarize yourself with some of these common words. Whether you are just starting out in the industry or are a seasoned pro, these 6 electrical terms will come in handy.
Electrons are negatively charged particles that exist as part of the molecular structure of a substance. They are either tightly bound within the molecule or loosely held, allowing them to move freely. A force is produced by a battery or generator that causes the electrons to move around a circuit. This force is measured in volts (V).
Voltage is the force that pushes charged electrons through a circuit. It is measured in volts (V), and higher voltages cause more electricity to flow. It is also a standard unit in the SI system. The unit is equal to 1 volt driving one coulomb of charge carriers through a resistance of one ohm in a second.
Electricity flows through electrical circuits, which are composed of devices that give energy to the charged particles constituting current, as well as devices that use that current. An electric circuit includes a power source, such as a battery or generator; connecting wires or traces; and devices that consume or transmit electricity, such as a lamp, electric motor, or computer.
Resistance is a measure of opposition to the flow of current (electrons) through a material. This is measured in ohms, or ohmic units which are symbolized by the Greek letter omega O. The international standard unit of resistance is the ohm. This value can be prefixed by a multiplier to make it easier to work with.
This property of materials is important to know because some materials offer very little resistance while others will impede the flow of current very greatly. Knowing what resistivity means will help you decide if something is an insulator or conductor for use in your circuits.
Insulators are materials that restrict the flow of electricity and heat across an area. This prevents components from shorting out or catching fire. A good insulator is one that has a low conductivity and high resistivity. In addition, it must be capable of a certain breakdown voltage that allows electrons to escape from the atoms when a potential difference is applied.
Conductors are materials that allow electricity to flow easily through them. They are also used to transmit heat. Examples of conductors are metals, the earth and animals. Electrical conductivity is largely determined by how easily electrons can move through the material from atom to atom. This is done by determining the configuration of the valence electrons around the atomic nucleus.
When you flip a switch to turn on a light or TV, vacuum cleaner or computer, it’s completing an electrical circuit. This is like your circulatory system in your body. In a complete circuit, there are wires connected to both the positive and negative ends of the power supply. The battery pushes the electrons through these wires, allowing them to flow to other parts of your circuit. It’s important to remember that current is a measure of how fast these electrons flow through the wires, and that there’s a special relationship between voltage, current and resistance called Ohm’s law.