Electrical charge is characterized by the relative imbalance of positively and negatively charged particles in matter. For example, an object with more negatively charged particles (electrons) is said to have a negative charge.
Objects powered by electricity harness the flow of electrons to operate. These electrons will generate charge as they accumulate, a form of potential energy.
Voltage is defined as the quantity of a charge. Voltage is the amount of pent-up electrical energy in a given circuit. Voltage can be calculated by multiplying Amperes by Ohms. V=IR.
Voltage is analogous to pressure. Visualizing water pressure building up behind a dam. The potential energy of water pushing against the wall of the dam is analogous to voltage.
Electrical current is defined as the amount of energy flowing through a circuit per unit time. It is measured in amperes and is analogous to water flowing through a pipe. As the amount of water that can flow through a pipe is dependent on the pressure of the water and the diameter of the pipe, so too is electrical current dependent on voltage and resistance. Current equals volts divided by Ohms.
Amperes is the unit of measurement associated with current. It can be calculated by dividing the volts in a circuit by the Ohms.
Resistance is the third component of electrical flow and the namesake of Ohm’s law. Electrical resistance is defined by how conductive to electricity a given circuit is. Good conductors of electricity, such as copper and gold, have low resistance- whereas poor conductors such as wood or distilled water have high resistance. In our dam analogy, think of resistance as the diameter of the pipe water must flow through.
Resistance is measured in Ohms. Calculate Ohms by dividing the Volts by the Amperes in a given circuit.
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