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GED Physical Science

Lesson 6 Electricity and Magnetism

TermDefinition
electric charge atoms have protons with a positive charge or electrons that have a negative charge; this charge causes them to exert forces on one another; particles with like charges repel one another; particles with unlike charges attract one another
static electricity when electrons are temporarily pulled away from atoms, creating stationary areas of positive and negative charge (think a balloon and a rug when they are rubbed together)
conductor a material that allows electrons to move freely from atom to atom (metals are good)
insulator a material that does not allow electrons to move freely from atom to atom (rubber and plastic are examples)
semiconductor substances whose ability to conduct electricity is midway between that of a conductor and an insulator (silicon is an example)
magnetic field produced by an electric current; affects magnetic substances such as iron in the same way a permanent magnet does; they are produced by moving charged particles
electromagnet the charged particles move along a coil of wire connected to a battery or other power source
permanent magnet the spinning of electrons creates a magnetic field; every magnet has two ends, called the north and south poles; north poles attract south poles; like poles repel one another
electric motor in this, magnetic fields are produced by electric currents; the magnetic fields push against one another, turning the shaft of the motor
generator in this, a moving magnetic field produces electric current
transformer in this, an incoming electric current in coiled wire produces fluctuating magnetic fields, which in turn produce an outgoing electric current of a different voltage; the difference in voltage is caused by the differing sizes of the wire coils.
voltage electromotive force or potential difference expressed in volts
electric current the movement of charged particles, usually electrons; direct current flows in one direction only, and it is used in battery-operated devices. Alternating current flows back and forth rapidly, and it is used in household wiring.
Created by: jpiittmann