Science Glossary Terms

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Science Glossary Terms
2014-10-27 01:19:49
Science Glossary Terms Electricity
Chapter 11 Electricity Glossary Terms
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  1. Electric Circiuit
    • A closed path along which electrons that are powered by an energy source can flow
    • There are three types of simple electric circuits: Series, Parallel, and Series-Parallel  
  2. Voltaic Cell
    • A source of energy that generates an electric current by chemical reactions involving two different metals or metal compounds separated by a solution that is a conductor.
    • e.g. An AA or D cell or "battery"
  3. Battery
    • A connection of two or more cells 
    • 1.5 Volts 
    • e.g. 2 or more 1.5 V cells, (2 AA cells)
  4. Electrode
    • One of two metal terminals in a cell or a battery
    • Hold on to electrons and must be made of different metals to do so
  5. Electrolyte
    • A solution or paste that conducts charge
    • e.g. Sodium chloride, nitric acid, chloric acid
  6. Dry Cell
    • A cell that contains an electrolyte that is a paste
    • Has no free liquid and only has enough moisture to allow current to flow
    • e.g. Zinc carbon dry cell battery
  7. Wet Cell
    • A cell that contains a liquid electrolyte, most wet cells use a solution of sulfuric acid
    • e.g. Car battery
  8. Primary Cell
    • A cell that can be used only once and becomes dead after a period of time
    • e.g. Dry cells
  9. Secondary Cell
    • A cell that can be recharged and used again and again
    • e.g. Lead storage cell
  10. Fuel Cell
    • A cell that generates electricity through the chemical reactions of fuel that is stored outside the cell. Fuel cells are capable of providing energy for automobiles, buses and small devices.
    • e.g. Hydrogen fuel cell,
  11. Solar Cell
    • A cell that converts sunlight into electrical energy
    • Few small solar cells can power a calculator while large solar panels can operate a communications satellite
    • e.g. Solar cells in calculators
  12. Terminal
    • Location on a cell that must be connected to other components to form a circuit
    • There is a positive and negative terminal or "poles"
  13. Switch
    • A control device that can complete or break the circuit to which it is connected
  14. Open Circuit
    • A circuit that contains a gap or break
    • e.g. Opening a switch which creates a gap which does not let electrons flow through any part of the circuit
  15. Electric Current
    • The rate of movement of electric charge
    • In an electric circuit the current is due to the flow of electrons
    • Measured in coulombs (C)
  16. Coulomb (C)
    • The quantity of charge that is equal to the charge of 6.25 x  electrons
    • The electric charge passing by a point in a circuit measured in large numbers of electrons.
  17. Ampere (A)
    • The unit of electric current, equivalent to one coulomb per second
    • e.g. A current of 1.0 A in a circuit means that 1.0 C of charge passes a given point in the circuit every second
  18. Electrical Resistance
    • The property of a substance that hinders electric current and converts electrical energy to other forms of energy
      Measured in Ohms (Ω) 
    • Using Ohm's law
  19. Resistor
    • A device that used in an electric circuit to decrease the current through a component by a specific amount
    • e.g. Can be affected by heat, or material etc.
  20. Load
    • A resistor or any other device that transforms electrical energy into heat, motion, sound or light
    • e.g. resistor, microwave, heater
  21. Potential Difference (voltage)
    • The difference between the electric potential energy per unit of charge at two points in a circuit (voltage)
    • Potential Difference = Difference in Potential Energy(J)/Charge (C)
  22. Volt
    • The unit for potential difference, equivalent to one joule (J) per coulomb (C)
    • e.g. A cell marked 1.5 V will do 1.5 J of work moving a coulomb of electrons from the negative terminal through the circuit to the positive terminal
  23. Circuit Diagram
    A diagram that uses standard symbols to represent the components in an electric circuit and their connections
  24. Series Circuit
    • A circuit in which there is only one path along which electrons can flow
    • e.g. If one bulb were to go out all the bulbs would go out
  25. Parallel Circuit
    • A circuit in which there is more than one path along which electrons
    • e.g. If one bulb were to go out the rest would stay lit through multiple paths
  26. Ohm's law
    • The ratio of potential difference to current is a constant called resistance
  27. Ohm (Ω)
    • The unit for resistance, equivalent to one volt per ampere (V/A)
    • Measured using Ohm's law
  28. Superconductor
    • A material through which electric charge can flow with no resistance
    • Does not transform electrical energy into heat
    • e.g. Some very powerful magnets are made using superconducting wires
  29. Non-ohmic
    • Not following Ohm's law
    • If ratio of potential difference between the ends of a load to the current through the load changes as the potential difference varies the load does not have a constant resistance thus, does not obey Ohm's law.
  30. Loads in Series
    • The way electrons flow through a series circuit using current, potential difference and resistance
    • e.g. If one bulb goes out they all go out
  31. Loads in Parallel
    • The way electrons flow through a parallel circuit using current, potential difference and resistance
    • e.g. If one bulb goes out, the rest stay on

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