Electrical Current

M. Pham

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What is it?

The basic principal of an electric current is the movement of microscopic particles [electrons or ions] flowing through a conductor [ex. wires]. Any material that allows an electrical current to flow through is called an electrical conductor. Current always flow from a positive( + ) to a negative ( - ) terminal [ex. battery].

For the current to move forward, it has to stay inside the conductor, but we are able to manually control the current from completely completing its circuit by the use of switches. Switches are basically gaps in the conductor so if switches are off/open electrons will not move forward since they have to stay inside the conductor. When a switch/key is pressed down or turned on, it completes the circuit sending the electrical current to flow through.


Here is a simple example what an electrical current will flow through.
First of all, there has to be some sort of energy source which is represented
as the vertical lines. The energy source can either be a battery or anything
else that has charged electrons. The electrons will flow through the wire
from one end, through the screen, light, or whatever the device may be and
will come back into contact with the battery.


Here is another circuit, but it is a bit different since you can see that there are gaps in
the wire. This example shows what I mean on how we can manually stop the current
from flowing all the way through the conductor. this example shows that the switches
are off since current cannot flow through. But when those switches are pressed down,
the circuit will be complete turning the device ON.


Cell Phone Touchscreen
Clothes Dryer
Computer Keyboard
Gameboy Advance SP
Gameboy Color
GPS Receiver
Guitar Amplifier
IPod (Nano) (Chromatic) (Mini)
IPod Click Wheel
LED Lightbulb
Macbook Display
MP3 Player
Nintendo DS
TV Remote
Washing Machine
Wii Remote
XBox 360 Controller