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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, flourescent 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 home made 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

how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 physical science. OpenStax CNX. Aug 29, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11245/1.3
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