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Electric circuits

People all over the world depend on electricity to provide power for most appliances in the home and at work. For example, fluorescent lights, electric heating and cooking (on electric stoves), all depend on electricity to work. To realise just how big an impact electricity has on our daily lives, just think about what happens when there is a powerfailure or load shedding.

Discussion : uses of electricity

With a partner, take the following topics and, for each topic, write down at least 5 items/appliances/machines which need electricity to work. Try not to use the same item more than once.

  • At home
  • At school
  • At the hospital
  • In the city

Once you have finished making your lists, compare with the lists of other people in your class. (Save your lists somewhere safe for later because there will be another activity for which you'll need them.)

When you start comparing, you should notice that there are many different items which we use in our daily lives which rely on electricity to work!

Safety Warning: We believe in experimenting and learning about physics at every opportunity, BUT playing with electricity and electrical appliances can be EXTREMELY DANGEROUS ! Do not try to build homemade circuits alone. Make sure you have someone with you who knows if what you are doing is safe.Normal electrical outlets are dangerous. Treat electricity with respect in your everyday life. Do not touch exposed wires and do not approach downed power lines.

Closed circuits

In the following activity we will investigate what is needed to cause charge to flow in an electric circuit.

Experiment : closed circuits


To determine what is required to make electrical charges flow. In this experiment, we will use a lightbulb to check whether electrical charge is flowing in the circuit or not. If charge is flowing, the lightbulb should glow. On the other hand, if no charge is flowing, the lightbulb will not glow.


You will need a small lightbulb which is attached to a metal conductor (e.g. a bulb from a school electrical kit), some connecting wires and a battery.


Take the apparatus items and try to connect them in a way that you cause the light bulb to glow (i.e. charge flows in the circuit).


  1. Once you have arranged your circuit elements to make the lightbulb glow, draw your circuit.
  2. What can you say about how the battery is connected? (i.e. does it have one or two connecting leads attached? Where are they attached?)
  3. What can you say about how the light bulb is connected in your circuit? (i.e. does it connect to one or two connecting leads, and where are they attached?)
  4. Are there any items in your circuit which are not attached to something? In other words, are there any gaps in your circuit?

Write down your conclusion about what is needed to make an electric circuit work and charge to flow.

In the experiment above, you will have seen that the light bulb only glows when there is a closed circuit i.e. there are no gaps in the circuit and all the circuit elements are connected in a closed loop . Therefore, in order for charges to flow, a closed circuit and an energy source (in this case the battery) are needed. (Note: you do not have to have a lightbulb in the circuit! We used this as a check that charge was flowing.)

Questions & Answers

what is math number
Tric Reply
x-2y+3z=-3 2x-y+z=7 -x+3y-z=6
Sidiki Reply
Need help solving this problem (2/7)^-2
Simone Reply
what is the coefficient of -4×
Mehri Reply
the operation * is x * y =x + y/ 1+(x × y) show if the operation is commutative if x × y is not equal to -1
Alfred Reply
An investment account was opened with an initial deposit of $9,600 and earns 7.4% interest, compounded continuously. How much will the account be worth after 15 years?
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lim x to infinity e^1-e^-1/log(1+x)
given eccentricity and a point find the equiation
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12, 17, 22.... 25th term
Alexandra Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
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I'm 13 and I understand it great
I am 1 year old but I can do it! 1+1=2 proof very hard for me though.
Not really they are just easy concepts which can be understood if you have great basics. I am 14 I understood them easily.
find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
Jerwin Reply
I know this work
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
hmm well what is the answer
If f(x) = x-2 then, f(3) when 5f(x+1) 5((3-2)+1) 5(1+1) 5(2) 10
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
make 5/4 into a mixed number, make that a decimal, and then multiply 32 by the decimal 5/4 turns out to be
can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
I got X =-6
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
oops. ignore that.
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
is it a question of log
I rally confuse this number And equations too I need exactly help
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Commplementary angles
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A soccer field is a rectangle 130 meters wide and 110 meters long. The coach asks players to run from one corner to the other corner diagonally across. What is that distance, to the nearest tenths place.
Kimberly Reply
Jeannette has $5 and $10 bills in her wallet. The number of fives is three more than six times the number of tens. Let t represent the number of tens. Write an expression for the number of fives.
August Reply
What is the expressiin for seven less than four times the number of nickels
Leonardo Reply
How do i figure this problem out.
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
why surface tension is zero at critical temperature
I think if critical temperature denote high temperature then a liquid stats boils that time the water stats to evaporate so some moles of h2o to up and due to high temp the bonding break they have low density so it can be a reason
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
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. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
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Source:  OpenStax, Physics - grade 10 [caps 2011]. OpenStax CNX. Jun 14, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11298/1.3
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