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Exellence in English Part 3: Understanding Modern Magic

Image

Welcome back to our Excellence in English Series.  This week we have another special piece for you to read and enjoy.

The Excellence in English appreciation was first initiated by IULI’s English lecturer who was astonished by the English skills of the students through their classwork, however the idea for an ‘Excellence in English’ group came from our students. The normal English syllabus covers writing and presentation skills, in particular, but a number of students were already proficient in those skills and ready for a bigger challenge. An experiment with one student in early 2019 proved to be successful so a number of students in 2020 took up the challenge of producing either a fiction or non-fiction paper or story.

This week we have a piece by Davin Richard, Mechatronics Engineering 2020, and is titled “Understanding Modern Magic: Obscure Edition”. This paper is an attempt to explain the basic nature of electricity in a cohesive and coherent manner.

Exellence in English Series Part 3

Understanding Modern Magic
(Obscure Edition)

Written by:

Davin Richard
Mechatronic Engineering 2018

Introduction

When I first gave birth to the marrow of this project, they called me a madman. The very idea of filling the entire tens of pages or so with a bunch of technical electricity nonsense scared them, and undoubtedly myself as well. But then again every great story starts and ends with the protagonist braving and conquering their fears, and I just realized that I should just write this ‘book’ about a subject I know little of. Alas, it is not a characteristic of a productive human to float on the sea of regrets, and thus, it is time to start the proper introduction of what this book is all about.

The fragile continuity of mankind as a civilized whole is currently hanging 4000 meters above ground level by the single magic thread of a concept known as electricity. This very fundamental lifeline of our civilized lives acts as the base on which every significant modern breakthrough has been made, applied, and maintained by the few lifting the quality of life of the most until the point we currently are at today. That point keeps rising as more and more people start to replace their conventional living apparatus with something much more convenient and fast, which is what electronics is all about. From there the demand to modernize everything skyrockets; hence, begins the new age of a ‘gold rush’ that will place our wellbeing at a height we have never seen before. It is all beautiful and convenient for most people  until we realize that the number of people able to tend to the magic wire or, at the very least understand what makes it work, is insultingly dwarf-like. There is no one to blame. The journey of understanding the nature of electricity is unforgiving and costly for most people, such as myself. That is the prime reason behind the inscription of this ‘book’. I hope that you do not expect anything revolutionary from reading this, since all that I am doing here is merely taking the cesspool of knowledge that the internet is, and filtering it in the hope of finding the most basic of concepts and their explanation, dumbing it down through many attempts, and finally typing that struggle down in what I hope is something intelligible.

As it is a good rule of thumb to expect nothing but the worst, I do certainly hope that the worst that will happen to people after reading this ‘book’ is a single person more will understands how the world around them works. It is no longer all roots and leaves nor is it hunting and gathering; now is the age of micro-circuitry, and unless some fictional apocalypse of the end of time is going to befall humanity for not believing or ‘having ironclad faith’ anytime soon, then the era of modern electricity will only get bigger until humanity finds another source of power far superior to what we already have.     

Let’s start.

When people are asked ,“what is electricity ?”, most people will confidently tell you that electricity is electrons, thunder, lightning, and  it is what powers TVs, smartphones, computers, or anything vaguely close to them without actually knowing what makes it very deadly while also being responsible for everything good in life. I mean why would we need to know anything about it? Life’s been good for most of us all this time without any legit knowledge about electricity, There are people who handle these ‘complicated and intricate’ things for us and we have more important, less risk of dying stuff to think about. This toxic attitude has been bred out of ignorance amplified by fear of this poor phenomenon that has changed the world in ways we couldn’t possibly imagine several hundred years ago. That very posture has been going for an extended period of time, and it has infested a lot of neighbouring subjects of interest. One great example would be the practice of “hacking”. Hacking is a lot like electricity if we see how it is perceived by audiences around the world- a bunch of over exaggerations delivered by movies. Even news media display a lot of misconceptions of said practice to billions of people, regardless of age. Humans are indeed intellectual yet the number of individuals that take their bachelor’s degree Computer Science lessons from movies and TV series are mind-boggling plenty. These peculiar flocks of individuals are the main contributors to the world-wide spread of misinformation about cyber security, or any other subject which the media often offers without testing its integrity of truth.

That being said, before we start this shaky quest of knowledge let us purge ourselves of everything we know about electromagnetism. After all this is not exactly the kind of book a sane person with proper proficiency in energized matter would open let alone read to this point. Thus, in order to make sure that we are on the same clean page we all must cleanse ourselves of random electronic “facts” such as the “it is better to keep the light on than switching it off and then on again” nonsense that we got from random people in the internet or group chats, even if they claim to have seven doctorate titles before their name and ten after.

Done?

Great, let’s get started for real.

A is for atom

Everything that exists in our perceivable universe is made of atoms. Atoms are the building blocks of every solid, liquid, gaseous, and even plasmatic[1] matter that includes everything from a single mole of hydrogen to electromagnetism; thus, to understand electricity we must first do a bit of skinny dipping into Quantumtown. Atoms have been wearing the title as the smallest components that exist as the bricks of everything in the eyes of common people for decades, and to say this is true is to be hugely ignorant. Protons, Electrons, and Neutrons of the subatomic particle band are technically the true smallest base, that through combined effort they form the false king of itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie-bikini, aka the atom. 


[1] Little known state of matter, ionized gas with temperature so high it become incandescent as its primary attribute.

Ernest Rutherford’s visual model of atom. Better, more realistic models, exist, but this will help us visualize what we are talking about just fine.

To put it simply, everything we have seen is made of atoms and every atom is centered by a nucleus and every nucleus is made of a set of protons and neutrons while a bunch of electrons orbits around those nuclei. While it is obvious that an electron is the main member of the cast of this topic due to the Merriam-Webster definition of electricity; the movement and interaction of electrons“, one might wonder what part protons and neutrons get to play. Well one must remember that for any form of electricity to take place a medium, any worldly material which electricity can travel on regardless of how efficient it is in doing so, is very much required. Matter as we know it is made of atoms which as forementioned are circled by electrons and for us to know which kinds of material are capable of electricity we must see the “clingy-ness” of the orbiting electrons to their original atom. Glass, wool, wood, and air are some great examples of having rather glued electrons. This is an antipode termed Electrical Insulator to what electricity is; namely, movement of electrons. Thus most metals such as aluminium, silver, and copper are classified as Electrical Conductors due to the tendencies of electrons in their atomic structure to move around and detach from their parent atom.This proficiency of electron flow is called Conductivity. This is what allows electricity to happen.

One thing to clear up here. A Subatomic Particle is actually not the absolute base building fragment of this universe. The crown belongs to what is called an Elementary Particle.While an electron is one of the many, protons and neutrons all belong to the category of Composite Particle; that is, made up of various elementary particles. This knowledge is as essential to just know as it is not an obligation to understand. This is just an extra step I take, just so you can run off your mouth after reading this book with marginalized science myth outbreak risk.

If you are truly wondering why some materials have clingy electrons while the others have electrons that are ready to move around do yourself a favour and google “Covalent Bonds”. This book will not elaborate about said topic further in the later chapters just because that is more of a chemistry topic than electrical which I am even more unqualified to talk about, and I believe we will do just fine throughout this electrifying sojourn without grasping that tedious concept.

Now we may be wondering how these subatomic particles (NOT elementary particles, they instead use what is called Gluon to stick with each other creating subatomic particles Trifling yet perplexing science stuff, don’t even bother to google it) clump up together in such fashion that they are able to form atoms en masse without having any active movement actuator such as legs on mammals, flagellum on eukaryotic cells, or fins on fish. Well they don’t need one.  Just as fire is inherently hot and ice is naturally cold, electrons and protons each have attributes that are innately the exact opposite of each other. For the sake of simplicity and robust universal science liaison just like the SI units, our forefathers of science decided to label the innate movement force of these subatomic particle as Charges (SI unit; “Coulomb”), with electrons dubbed with having negative charges and protons having positive charges. This negative positive polarity is an arbitrary display to show their contrasting nature; thus, the important part is not their nature but their interaction.

Lo and behold, the Law of Charges. This law consists of three statements that is; like charges repel, unlike charges attract and charged objects can be attracted to neutral objects. Based on these three axioms, it is clear that atoms are formed in accordance to fundamental laws of the universe. If you do not happen to have a multi-million U.S dollar particle accelerator/collider casually lying around to vaguely observe the nature of these ever so tiny particles, then we can see the Law of Charges at work in an actionable scale through a demonstration with two magnets. Stumbling upon this information, we might get confused between good old magnetism and the law of charges, since they both suggest practically the same thing. Well that is because they are the same, just with a different name and different variables in its elaboration in effort to make it appropiate and relevant with the field of subject it is used in. Here we can see where law of charges states this; “like charges repel, unlike charges attract and charged objects can be attracted to neutral objects”. The law of magnetism states this; “like poles repel, unlike poles attract and that magnetized objects can be attracted to non-magnetic objects”.Not a lot of difference for sure, but without those small divergence the axiom does not provide as much intuitiveness and clarity as it does with this diversity.

 It is a good idea to remember that electric current (which we will explain later) always generates what is called a magnetic field; that is, the area around the magnet itself where magnetic force (pulling/pushing) is present. Thus, correlations will be present to a certain degree.

Now that we have been introduced to the existence of a charge that is present in particles, it is time to clear things up regarding what makes electrons so special and why there is electricity and no “protonicity” where the flow of positive charged particles that are solely protons are the basic principle of energy generation.Well first of all, a proton in normal circumstances does not move due to its mass being bigger than electrons; hence, they stay in a fixed place. The energy bonds of protons are extremely strong. It is so much stronger than those of orbiting electrons that it requires a nuclear reaction to change the number of protons. And even after that the substance becomes an entirely different substance due to the changed atomic number (number of protons) that makes alumunium (atomic number: 13) alumunium and not silicon (atomic number: 14) or magnesium (atomic number:12). 

The Periodic Table, a compendium in which all elements existing to man

are displayed along with their meager attributes

This extreme hassle required to exploit the flow of protons is what stops us from using them to power our everyday needs, not to mention that we have not discovered how to use them more effectively than electricity.

Teamwork makes the dream work

Voltage, Current, Resistance (Load) are the triumvirate of all things electrical. They rule over our ever so sparking world. On their own, they do basically nothing at all. Imagine the clockwork parts inside of Big Ben but each gear, frame, belt, and spring does not touch each other at all; that is basically what voltage, current, and load components are capable of forming each on its own: nothing. What makes Big Ben work is that each mechanical part inside her is connected (in this case, surface contact) to other parts which together form a very intricate clockwork mechanism that runs on mechanical/kinetic energy transferred through thousands of moving parts from the very first part, that we all have grown too accustomed to. Or if the clockwork analogy doesnt work, think of a road. A road provides traction that allows vehicles to actually move around. Putting this into electrical terms, in order to make something run on electricity we also require connection between the components. This road created from interconnecting the electrical components is what we call a circuit. And very much like a road in real life, the traction makes it harder to move but it is necessary to move.In practice, circuits are usually represented by conductive wires such as copper wire.

To get things flowing(ehehe), let’s start off with current first. Current (represented by “I”, SI unit; “Ampere”) as the designation suggests is the rate of electrical charge moving through a point. An ampere connotes that a single coulomb of charge is going through per second. Charge (Q) might be the movement force of any non-neutral subatomic particles, but electrons as elementary particles have a pre-set/fixed amount of charge (because of nature, that’s why); namely, Elementary Charge. This fundamental nominal value is 1.602 176 634 × 10−19 C. It is enormously small and arbitrary (for most people that is) that I wager none of us even read the full numbers. Therefore the word “1 ampere” means that approximately six hundred sextillion (6 × 1020) electrons cross a cross section of a circuit per second, because that is the amount of required electrons for their charges to sum up into 1 C (Coulomb). Please bear in mind that the direction of current is always the exact opposite of the direction an electron is moving. Thus, in its simplest form we can think of current as the amount of electrons (in amperes) going through a cross-sectional area of a conductive circuit per second.

To avoid confusion, particles that have more positive charge flow from positive to negative, while negatively charged particles flow from negative to positive; that much is intuitive. Albeit this does not matter at all, electricity is both of them (see law of charges). It is our choice from which perspective we want to analyze the circuit-on the positively charged or negatively charged side. Conventionally the flow of current in a circuit diagram should represent the flow of positively charged particles.

“The holy grail of our electric world”

Voltage (represented by “V”, SI unit; “Volt”) in its simplest sense is the magnitude of push/pressure on the charged particles in the circuit. Let me first introduce the foundation on which voltage, current, and load correlate with each other. Behold Ohm’s law;

What this formula tells us is that the bigger current and/or load we have, the greater the acting/required push (voltage) in the circuit is. To make this a bit easier to digest, we can think of current as a flow of water instead of electrons.

Here we have a system of water delivery to illustrate the three core fundamental concepts of electricity. Imagine there are two containers filled with different amounts of water connected with a pipe. Water will always flow from the container with higher pressure (X1) into the container with lower pressure (X2) until their pressure become equal. The acting force that pushes water to flow from the rectangular container into the triangle container is called voltage. The term “potential difference” (represented by “∆V”) and “voltage” are often used interchangeably due to its congruent representation of potential “strength” to push/power electrical current to flow (the “pushing” force that is provided by a voltage source itself is called electric field) . This voltage will diminish as the pressure difference between the two containers lessens and eventually becomes equal which results in no water flowing between them at all.

As good as the illustration above is, it does not completely portray Ohm’s law due to its lack of representation of “R” (representation of “resistance”, SI unit; “Ohm”) in the system. Ergo, here is the updated illustration for our learning convenience.

The newly-added circle serves as the legend for a water wheel halfway submerged in the connection pipe. Once there is enough pressure water will flow and the water wheel will continuously turn until the pressure and, with it the current “runs out” or, in this case, there is no pressure difference. Understanding this sketch should adequately allow us to correlate and understand what is going on in this simple electrical circuit.

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Add titleExellence in English Part 3: Understanding Modern Magic

Welcome back to our Excellence in English Series.  This week we have another special piece for you to read and enjoy.

The Excellence in English appreciation was first initiated by IULI’s English lecturer who was astonished by the English skills of the students through their classwork, however the idea for an ‘Excellence in English’ group came from our students. The normal English syllabus covers writing and presentation skills, in particular, but a number of students were already proficient in those skills and ready for a bigger challenge. An experiment with one student in early 2019 proved to be successful so a number of students in 2020 took up the challenge of producing either a fiction or non-fiction paper or story.

This week we have a piece by Davin Richard, Mechatronics Engineering 2020, and is titled “Understanding Modern Magic: Obscure Edition”. This paper is an attempt to explain the basic nature of electricity in a cohesive and coherent manner.

Exellence in English Series Part 3

Understanding Modern Magic
(Obscure Edition)

Written by:

Davin Richard
Mechatronic Engineering 2018

Introduction

When I first gave birth to the marrow of this project, they called me a madman. The very idea of filling the entire tens of pages or so with a bunch of technical electricity nonsense scared them, and undoubtedly myself as well. But then again every great story starts and ends with the protagonist braving and conquering their fears, and I just realized that I should just write this ‘book’ about a subject I know little of. Alas, it is not a characteristic of a productive human to float on the sea of regrets, and thus, it is time to start the proper introduction of what this book is all about.

The fragile continuity of mankind as a civilized whole is currently hanging 4000 meters above ground level by the single magic thread of a concept known as electricity. This very fundamental lifeline of our civilized lives acts as the base on which every significant modern breakthrough has been made, applied, and maintained by the few lifting the quality of life of the most until the point we currently are at today. That point keeps rising as more and more people start to replace their conventional living apparatus with something much more convenient and fast, which is what electronics is all about. From there the demand to modernize everything skyrockets; hence, begins the new age of a ‘gold rush’ that will place our wellbeing at a height we have never seen before. It is all beautiful and convenient for most people  until we realize that the number of people able to tend to the magic wire or, at the very least understand what makes it work, is insultingly dwarf-like. There is no one to blame. The journey of understanding the nature of electricity is unforgiving and costly for most people, such as myself. That is the prime reason behind the inscription of this ‘book’. I hope that you do not expect anything revolutionary from reading this, since all that I am doing here is merely taking the cesspool of knowledge that the internet is, and filtering it in the hope of finding the most basic of concepts and their explanation, dumbing it down through many attempts, and finally typing that struggle down in what I hope is something intelligible.

As it is a good rule of thumb to expect nothing but the worst, I do certainly hope that the worst that will happen to people after reading this ‘book’ is a single person more will understands how the world around them works. It is no longer all roots and leaves nor is it hunting and gathering; now is the age of micro-circuitry, and unless some fictional apocalypse of the end of time is going to befall humanity for not believing or ‘having ironclad faith’ anytime soon, then the era of modern electricity will only get bigger until humanity finds another source of power far superior to what we already have.     

Let’s start.

When people are asked ,“what is electricity ?”, most people will confidently tell you that electricity is electrons, thunder, lightning, and  it is what powers TVs, smartphones, computers, or anything vaguely close to them without actually knowing what makes it very deadly while also being responsible for everything good in life. I mean why would we need to know anything about it? Life’s been good for most of us all this time without any legit knowledge about electricity, There are people who handle these ‘complicated and intricate’ things for us and we have more important, less risk of dying stuff to think about. This toxic attitude has been bred out of ignorance amplified by fear of this poor phenomenon that has changed the world in ways we couldn’t possibly imagine several hundred years ago. That very posture has been going for an extended period of time, and it has infested a lot of neighbouring subjects of interest. One great example would be the practice of “hacking”. Hacking is a lot like electricity if we see how it is perceived by audiences around the world- a bunch of over exaggerations delivered by movies. Even news media display a lot of misconceptions of said practice to billions of people, regardless of age. Humans are indeed intellectual yet the number of individuals that take their bachelor’s degree Computer Science lessons from movies and TV series are mind-boggling plenty. These peculiar flocks of individuals are the main contributors to the world-wide spread of misinformation about cyber security, or any other subject which the media often offers without testing its integrity of truth.

That being said, before we start this shaky quest of knowledge let us purge ourselves of everything we know about electromagnetism. After all this is not exactly the kind of book a sane person with proper proficiency in energized matter would open let alone read to this point. Thus, in order to make sure that we are on the same clean page we all must cleanse ourselves of random electronic “facts” such as the “it is better to keep the light on than switching it off and then on again” nonsense that we got from random people in the internet or group chats, even if they claim to have seven doctorate titles before their name and ten after.

Done?

Great, let’s get started for real.

A is for atom

Everything that exists in our perceivable universe is made of atoms. Atoms are the building blocks of every solid, liquid, gaseous, and even plasmatic[1] matter that includes everything from a single mole of hydrogen to electromagnetism; thus, to understand electricity we must first do a bit of skinny dipping into Quantumtown. Atoms have been wearing the title as the smallest components that exist as the bricks of everything in the eyes of common people for decades, and to say this is true is to be hugely ignorant. Protons, Electrons, and Neutrons of the subatomic particle band are technically the true smallest base, that through combined effort they form the false king of itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie-bikini, aka the atom. 


[1] Little known state of matter, ionized gas with temperature so high it become incandescent as its primary attribute.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 11.jpg

“Ernest Rutherford’s visual model of atom. Better, more realistic models, exist, but this will help us visualize what we are talking about just fine.”

To put it simply, everything we have seen is made of atoms and every atom is centered by a nucleus and every nucleus is made of a set of protons and neutrons while a bunch of electrons orbits around those nuclei. While it is obvious that an electron is the main member of the cast of this topic due to the Merriam-Webster definition of electricity; “the movement and interaction of electrons“, one might wonder what part protons and neutrons get to play. Well one must remember that for any form of electricity to take place a medium, any worldly material which electricity can travel on regardless of how efficient it is in doing so, is very much required. Matter as we know it is made of atoms which as forementioned are circled by electrons and for us to know which kinds of material are capable of electricity we must see the “clingy-ness” of the orbiting electrons to their original atom. Glass, wool, wood, and air are some great examples of having rather glued electrons. This is an antipode termed Electrical Insulator to what electricity is; namely, movement of electrons. Thus most metals such as aluminium, silver, and copper are classified as Electrical Conductors due to the tendencies of electrons in their atomic structure to move around and detach from their parent atom.This proficiency of electron flow is called Conductivity. This is what allows electricity to happen.

One thing to clear up here. A Subatomic Particle is actually not the absolute base building fragment of this universe. The crown belongs to what is called an Elementary Particle.While an electron is one of the many, protons and neutrons all belong to the category of Composite Particle; that is, made up of various elementary particles. This knowledge is as essential to just know as it is not an obligation to understand. This is just an extra step I take, just so you can run off your mouth after reading this book with marginalized science myth outbreak risk.

If you are truly wondering why some materials have clingy electrons while the others have electrons that are ready to move around do yourself a favour and google “Covalent Bonds”. This book will not elaborate about said topic further in the later chapters just because that is more of a chemistry topic than electrical which I am even more unqualified to talk about, and I believe we will do just fine throughout this electrifying sojourn without grasping that tedious concept.

Now we may be wondering how these subatomic particles (NOT elementary particles, they instead use what is called Gluon to stick with each other creating subatomic particles Trifling yet perplexing science stuff, don’t even bother to google it) clump up together in such fashion that they are able to form atoms en masse without having any active movement actuator such as legs on mammals, flagellum on eukaryotic cells, or fins on fish. Well they don’t need one.  Just as fire is inherently hot and ice is naturally cold, electrons and protons each have attributes that are innately the exact opposite of each other. For the sake of simplicity and robust universal science liaison just like the SI units, our forefathers of science decided to label the innate movement force of these subatomic particle as Charges (SI unit; “Coulomb”), with electrons dubbed with having negative charges and protons having positive charges. This negative positive polarity is an arbitrary display to show their contrasting nature; thus, the important part is not their nature but their interaction.

Lo and behold, the Law of Charges. This law consists of three statements that is; like charges repel, unlike charges attract and charged objects can be attracted to neutral objects. Based on these three axioms, it is clear that atoms are formed in accordance to fundamental laws of the universe. If you do not happen to have a multi-million U.S dollar particle accelerator/collider casually lying around to vaguely observe the nature of these ever so tiny particles, then we can see the Law of Charges at work in an actionable scale through a demonstration with two magnets. Stumbling upon this information, we might get confused between good old magnetism and the law of charges, since they both suggest practically the same thing. Well that is because they are the same, just with a different name and different variables in its elaboration in effort to make it appropiate and relevant with the field of subject it is used in. Here we can see where law of charges states this; “like charges repel, unlike charges attract and charged objects can be attracted to neutral objects”. The law of magnetism states this; “like poles repel, unlike poles attract and that magnetized objects can be attracted to non-magnetic objects”.Not a lot of difference for sure, but without those small divergence the axiom does not provide as much intuitiveness and clarity as it does with this diversity.

 It is a good idea to remember that electric current (which we will explain later) always generates what is called a magnetic field; that is, the area around the magnet itself where magnetic force (pulling/pushing) is present. Thus, correlations will be present to a certain degree.

Now that we have been introduced to the existence of a charge that is present in particles, it is time to clear things up regarding what makes electrons so special and why there is electricity and no “protonicity” where the flow of positive charged particles that are solely protons are the basic principle of energy generation.Well first of all, a proton in normal circumstances does not move due to its mass being bigger than electrons; hence, they stay in a fixed place. The energy bonds of protons are extremely strong. It is so much stronger than those of orbiting electrons that it requires a nuclear reaction to change the number of protons. And even after that the substance becomes an entirely different substance due to the changed atomic number (number of protons) that makes alumunium (atomic number: 13) alumunium and not silicon (atomic number: 14) or magnesium (atomic number:12). 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 22-1024x542.png

“The Periodic Table, a compendium in which all elements existing to man

are displayed along with their meager attributes”

This extreme hassle required to exploit the flow of protons is what stops us from using them to power our everyday needs, not to mention that we have not discovered how to use them more effectively than electricity.

Teamwork makes the dream work

Voltage, Current, Resistance (Load) are the triumvirate of all things electrical. They rule over our ever so sparking world. On their own, they do basically nothing at all. Imagine the clockwork parts inside of Big Ben but each gear, frame, belt, and spring does not touch each other at all; that is basically what voltage, current, and load components are capable of forming each on its own: nothing. What makes Big Ben work is that each mechanical part inside her is connected (in this case, surface contact) to other parts which together form a very intricate clockwork mechanism that runs on mechanical/kinetic energy transferred through thousands of moving parts from the very first part, that we all have grown too accustomed to. Or if the clockwork analogy doesnt work, think of a road. A road provides traction that allows vehicles to actually move around. Putting this into electrical terms, in order to make something run on electricity we also require connection between the components. This road created from interconnecting the electrical components is what we call a circuit. And very much like a road in real life, the traction makes it harder to move but it is necessary to move.In practice, circuits are usually represented by conductive wires such as copper wire.

To get things flowing(ehehe), let’s start off with current first. Current (represented by “I”, SI unit; “Ampere”) as the designation suggests is the rate of electrical charge moving through a point. An ampere connotes that a single coulomb of charge is going through per second. Charge (Q) might be the movement force of any non-neutral subatomic particles, but electrons as elementary particles have a pre-set/fixed amount of charge (because of nature, that’s why); namely, Elementary Charge. This fundamental nominal value is 1.602 176 634 × 10−19 C. It is enormously small and arbitrary (for most people that is) that I wager none of us even read the full numbers. Therefore the word “1 ampere” means that approximately six hundred sextillion (6 × 1020) electrons cross a cross section of a circuit per second, because that is the amount of required electrons for their charges to sum up into 1 C (Coulomb). Please bear in mind that the direction of current is always the exact opposite of the direction an electron is moving. Thus, in its simplest form we can think of current as the amount of electrons (in amperes) going through a cross-sectional area of a conductive circuit per second.

To avoid confusion, particles that have more positive charge flow from positive to negative, while negatively charged particles flow from negative to positive; that much is intuitive. Albeit this does not matter at all, electricity is both of them (see law of charges). It is our choice from which perspective we want to analyze the circuit-on the positively charged or negatively charged side. Conventionally the flow of current in a circuit diagram should represent the flow of positively charged particles.

“The holy grail of our electric world”

Voltage (represented by “V”, SI unit; “Volt”) in its simplest sense is the magnitude of push/pressure on the charged particles in the circuit. Let me first introduce the foundation on which voltage, current, and load correlate with each other. Behold Ohm’s law;

What this formula tells us is that the bigger current and/or load we have, the greater the acting/required push (voltage) in the circuit is. To make this a bit easier to digest, we can think of current as a flow of water instead of electrons.

Here we have a system of water delivery to illustrate the three core fundamental concepts of electricity. Imagine there are two containers filled with different amounts of water connected with a pipe. Water will always flow from the container with higher pressure (X1) into the container with lower pressure (X2) until their pressure become equal. The acting force that pushes water to flow from the rectangular container into the triangle container is called voltage. The term “potential difference” (represented by “∆V”) and “voltage” are often used interchangeably due to its congruent representation of potential “strength” to push/power electrical current to flow (the “pushing” force that is provided by a voltage source itself is called electric field) . This voltage will diminish as the pressure difference between the two containers lessens and eventually becomes equal which results in no water flowing between them at all.

As good as the illustration above is, it does not completely portray Ohm’s law due to its lack of representation of “R” (representation of “resistance”, SI unit; “Ohm”) in the system. Ergo, here is the updated illustration for our learning convenience.

The newly-added circle serves as the legend for a water wheel halfway submerged in the connection pipe. Once there is enough pressure water will flow and the water wheel will continuously turn until the pressure and, with it the current “runs out” or, in this case, there is no pressure difference. Understanding this sketch should adequately allow us to correlate and understand what is going on in this simple electrical circuit.

No matter how different this circuit sketch looks from the previous water container system sketch, they are the exact same in the sense of technicalities. The pipe depicts the copper wire connecting the entire circuit on which current runs, the water represents charged particles present in the wires, and the water flow depicts electrical current. The pressure difference of the two containers denote how voltage/potential difference are exerted from between the cathode (+) and anode (-) side of a battery pushing the electrons of the wire (remember that wire is made up of atoms that have orbiting electrons), and lastly the water wheel symbolizes (conveniently) a resistance inside of light bulb that only turns on after there is enough “electrical power” (represented by “P”, SI unit; “Watt”), which is the combination of voltage and current (P = V . I). Much like a water wheel that turns slower and slower with less current and pressure acting, any electrical component (load) such as a light bulb and motor or any electronics will perform proportionally better if provided with higher electrical power input, although provide too much of it  and the components/equipment will break rather violently and permanently.

Before we move on further, should there happen to be confusion about the “hierarchy” relationship of these 3 core elements, it is best to think of current as the product of the two already determined values of voltage and resistance. This is because we cannot directly change the “quantity” of current by itself but, through voltage, we let it in to the circuit and the amount of resistance we decide to put on, which are a LOT more easily determined. Current will automatically adjust its value to fulfill Ohms law ( I = V/R), therefore a circuit with 1,5 volt battery and 100 ohms will have the same amount of current going through as a circuit with 9 volt battery with 600 ohms of resistance. Unfortunately if we connect both sides of a 9 volt battery with a very thick and short wire to produce resistance as small as 0,1 ohms, we will never acquire 90 amps as the current due to the physical limitation endowed by the “internal resistance” inside commerical batteries that gets worse as the battery gets used/discharges.

Lastly, seeing the formula of Ohm’s law, it is implied by that voltage that goes through a circuit linearly increases with the value of resistance. This is absolutely wrong. You cannot get 380000 Volts from just simply adding a ton of resistors in whatever form to achieve this ultra high -enough to power the entire country of Switzerland. Instead it is best to think of “R” as the current-limiter for safe manipulation of electricity.

Human body and electricity

Common people are often restlessly ignorant about things that are a potential threat to themselves. We go as far as labelling everything associated with electricity as dangerous. Thankfully, with the knowledge provided by the ohms law equation, we can now be fairly certain about what is safe to mess around with and what is lethal. Dry human skin generally has a resistance value of up to 100 kilo ohms. This number alone imply that no current significant enough can run through our body causing harm without an extremely high voltage source. But drenching our skin in water can cut our bodily resistance to only 10% of its dry state. This makes us highly susceptible to be harmed by a moderate voltage source. In order for us to calculate the total resistance of our body, we need to add the resistance of the body part locations where current comes and exits (as if we are a lamp) and our internal organs resistance. This is why we have to be mindful where we are touching as we will do more damage if we place a wire on one of our fingers and the other on our wet tongue than if we put the other one on our adjacent dry finger. If we put two and two together, in theory we are going to be able to handle about 4000 volt with dried body surface before breaching the mortally dangerous current rating of above 20 milliamperes. Sadly, in practice our organic protective epidermis goes through what is called skin breakdown if the incoming voltage is greater than 500 volts. This lowers our body’s resistance greatly so that the result is an increase in the amount of current that flows with any more voltage increase. For that reason, an electric chair that were used as an execution means utilizes voltage above 1000 volts to go through the executee’s body for an extended period to ensure death. As much as I hate to say this, even relatively low voltages can be extremely dangerous. The level of risk increases with the duration the body in a running circuit. So always remember to be touch-disciplined and decently insulated when dealing with bare circuits to avoid a silly demise.

Heat by electricity: a blessing in disguise?

We might have wondered why electronics feel a bit warm after being turned on for some time. This heat-up is present in every component, including the wire itself, of any electrical circuit so long as an electrical current and lack (or small amount) of resistance is present. The reason for this phenomenon is relatively simple. Increase in temperature as we know it is the result of molecules (chemically bonded atoms) moving around in an increasingly faster fashion. For electricity to flow, negatively charged particles must push through the circuit, inevitably and continuously bump into the molecules of circuit components from steady state into meandering condition (Newton’s first law of motion. I am sure we have all heard of this before) which results in a steady increase in temperature in the atomic scale that eventually grows and radiates the entire segment of wire/component as more and more power (with it, current) is used. This process is also known as power dissipation (electrical energy being converted into thermal), and it does not come to a halt when electricity stops flowing, giving space for the molecule to slow down into its natural speed; and hence, cooling down. Putting it in layman’s terms, imagine a mountain river with a lot of curves along its way to the sea level. The curves meant that some momentum energies are lost due to bumping into the riverside. This creates erosions on the riverside lands while the potential kinetic energies are lost from the water. This is the kind of unwanted energy conversion that happens.

Solar panels are a great example of us exploiting the problem of electricity unwantedly turned into heat. Instead of depleting electricity to create heat, we use the heat accumulated from the sun itself instead to produce a potential difference. This is done by using photovoltaic cells (solar panels) that are capable of the ”Photovoltaic effect”.

Alternate way of doing stuff

The essence of electricity is a bunch of tiny and energetic particles that move on a path creating usable energy; that much we are sure of. So far we have been introduced to a type of electricity that only moves in one direction forever(+ to – or – to +). This is also known as Direct Current. Until 1832, it was unknown to man that there existed another way in which electricity can effectively and efficiently flow and produce precious and useful energy for us to value. After years of research and struggle against a fear-mongering monopolist[1], it now commonly goes by the name “Alternating Current”.

Alternating current works by gradually yet bafflingly rapid reversing the direction it is flowing multiple times every second. The amount of flow direction changes/cycles that happens per second in AC is called frequency (represented by “f”, SI unit; “hertz”). Most of the world electrical grids are segregated between 2 technically-favored options:  50 hertz and 60 hertz.

The graph below shows the value of voltage an AC circuit produces in one cycle. The minus value indicates that the current produced by the voltage source (not the battery) is going in the opposite direction half of the time instead of consuming voltage.


[1] “War of the Currents”

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 33.gif
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screenshot-618.png

Bear in mind that this is what should happen to a light bulb that is powered by an AC power source, constantly flipping on and off. Fortunately this happens in milli-seconds, so, if the frequency of this power supply is 50 hertz, the light bulb would be experiencing 3 times 0 power input and 2 times maximum power input (1 cycle) every 20 milliseconds. But if that is the case, why is our light bulb not blinking like crazy right now? We should be giving thanks to a component called a capacitor (represented by “C”, SI unit; “farad”). Capacitors act as a buffer or a very small rechargeable battery for smooth transition in case of fluctuating power levels. They store charged particles when adequate power input is available and running in the circuit. Once a deficit in input voltage (power) is detected, the stored power in capacitor is reactively put to work (discharges) until it is used up or the incoming power level returns to a sufficient level that it starts to recharge again. This way, it prevents the light bulb from turning off upon reaching the 0 power input point of AC power supply. Capacitors also stores excess voltage from sudden voltage surge preventing over-voltage from damaging the rest of the circuit components. This compensating functionality of capacitor makes it a valuable component to be included in many electronics for a stable power input

A capacitor at its core is just 2 parallel plates separated by an electrical insulating material called dielectric material (the dielectric material/insulating layer between the plates can take form in air gap, paper, or any material with low electrical conductivity), hence the symbol of  a capacitor is the way it is. A capacitor is used widely in AC power circuits because it allows AC to flow. Unfortunately this is not going to happen in DC based circuits. Capacitors in an AC system are equivalent to a normal conductive path (short circuit) just like wires with additional storage for charged particles. But in a DC system capacitors act as if they are empty air with infinite resistance called “open circuit” instead of conductive wire/component after being fully charged.

It is evident that an open circuit cannot flow electricity at all because it requires a closed system (as seen in AC) and open air even if its a thin area makes a very bad circuit due to its practically–infinite resistance attribute. This makes the value of current flow basically zero (ohms law). So what’s all this segregated treatment by capacitors all about? Well, how a capacitor works is what makes capacitor better suited to be used in certain technology.

A capacitor by itself is neutrally charged, meaning each plate has an equal amount of negative and positive charges on its own, but, once there is a voltage source connected, it is going to start charging and creating a potential difference between the plates until the voltage is equal to the original voltage source and it begins to stop allowing current to pass.

As we have learnt before, negative charges travel the opposite way of positive charges in a DC configuration. As soon as a DC voltage source is connected, it starts to push electrons from plate 1 into plate 2 through the wire, not the gap. Doing this will result in plate 1 having more positive charge (net charge is positive) and plate 2 having more negative charge (net charge is negative), as well as increasing repel/attract force between the charges in the plates trying to maintain charge neutrality. Thankfully the insulating material between the plates ensures that no charged particles may travel directly between the plates. This takes time until the potential difference that is created by the two oppositely charged plates is equal to the voltage source. What happens next is the “strength” of the battery can no longer push additional positive charges from plate 1 to plate 2 due to the increased repelling force of accumulated identical positive charges in plate 2. Once the maximum voltage is achieved we can say that the capacitor is charged and no current is able to flow through the capacitor due to dielectric material in a capacitor not providing any potent particle transfer path and our voltage source not having what it needs to keep pushing the flow of charges. Hence, this is why the capacitor in DC circuit is synonymous with the state of open circuit as it becomes fully charged.

Quite a contrast happens to AC[1]. Alternating current voltage source as mentioned before works like a DC battery being flipped every millisecond. This very short duration allows the capacitor to never get the opportunity to become fully charged as the energy stored is always sufficiently used whenever AC voltage source starts to reach the 0 power point as shown on the graph above. This endless charge and discharge cycle, caused by how AC works, ensuring that the capacitor will never fully block a path in a circuit.

Series of parallel reaction

In electrical circuitry, we have 2 ways to categorize how a circuit is connected, as it affects how voltage and current distribution will behave. Both classifications work by providing a closed-loop wiring for electrical current to flow. A circuit is called a series if every single component is connected in a single path. This way a single broken component will compromise the entirety of the circuit. When connected in series, components will have share the voltage available among themselves. That is the reason why the total voltage running through these three identical lightbulbs in the example circuit below will be equal to the initial voltage input.


[1] The exact process of how we produce DC and AC is a tad bit too technical (not too mention confusing) for a book that explains things in a highly simplified manner by an equally questionable writer. But this is not to imply that I don’t support people who want to learn. That being said, here lies a path I am about to give you, from which you may begin your bewildering and eerie quest for dorkish knowledge. https://tinyurl.com/rdhtnho . Off you go now.

entire circuit useless if not replaced by new bulb or a plain wire.”

The opposite condition applies to the level of current flowing through. The value of current flowing through each bulb will remain the same as it was when it had just exited the battery. This is because the electrons only have one path to flow in the entire circuit with no viable junction present to go through. Adding additional identical bulb in a series circuit will cause the entire bulbs’ reduction of brightness due to them having to share the same power input with additional load, just like sharing a slice of bread among 10 people instead of 2 people.

When electrical components have their own direct connection to the voltage source as in the illustration below, they are called Parallel. This direct connection to the power source available to each component allows them to not have to split the usable voltage exerted by the power source. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 44-764x1024.png

No matter how different this circuit sketch looks from the previous water container system sketch, they are the exact same in the sense of technicalities. The pipe depicts the copper wire connecting the entire circuit on which current runs, the water represents charged particles present in the wires, and the water flow depicts electrical current. The pressure difference of the two containers denote how voltage/potential difference are exerted from between the cathode (+) and anode (-) side of a battery pushing the electrons of the wire (remember that wire is made up of atoms that have orbiting electrons), and lastly the water wheel symbolizes (conveniently) a resistance inside of light bulb that only turns on after there is enough “electrical power” (represented by “P”, SI unit; “Watt”), which is the combination of voltage and current (P = V . I). Much like a water wheel that turns slower and slower with less current and pressure acting, any electrical component (load) such as a light bulb and motor or any electronics will perform proportionally better if provided with higher electrical power input, although provide too much of it  and the components/equipment will break rather violently and permanently.

Before we move on further, should there happen to be confusion about the “hierarchy” relationship of these 3 core elements, it is best to think of current as the product of the two already determined values of voltage and resistance. This is because we cannot directly change the “quantity” of current by itself but, through voltage, we let it in to the circuit and the amount of resistance we decide to put on, which are a LOT more easily determined. Current will automatically adjust its value to fulfill Ohms law ( I = V/R), therefore a circuit with 1,5 volt battery and 100 ohms will have the same amount of current going through as a circuit with 9 volt battery with 600 ohms of resistance. Unfortunately if we connect both sides of a 9 volt battery with a very thick and short wire to produce resistance as small as 0,1 ohms, we will never acquire 90 amps as the current due to the physical limitation endowed by the “internal resistance” inside commerical batteries that gets worse as the battery gets used/discharges.

Lastly, seeing the formula of Ohm’s law, it is implied by that voltage that goes through a circuit linearly increases with the value of resistance. This is absolutely wrong. You cannot get 380000 Volts from just simply adding a ton of resistors in whatever form to achieve this ultra high -enough to power the entire country of Switzerland. Instead it is best to think of “R” as the current-limiter for safe manipulation of electricity.

Human body and electricity

Common people are often restlessly ignorant about things that are a potential threat to themselves. We go as far as labelling everything associated with electricity as dangerous. Thankfully, with the knowledge provided by the ohms law equation, we can now be fairly certain about what is safe to mess around with and what is lethal. Dry human skin generally has a resistance value of up to 100 kilo ohms. This number alone imply that no current significant enough can run through our body causing harm without an extremely high voltage source. But drenching our skin in water can cut our bodily resistance to only 10% of its dry state. This makes us highly susceptible to be harmed by a moderate voltage source. In order for us to calculate the total resistance of our body, we need to add the resistance of the body part locations where current comes and exits (as if we are a lamp) and our internal organs resistance. This is why we have to be mindful where we are touching as we will do more damage if we place a wire on one of our fingers and the other on our wet tongue than if we put the other one on our adjacent dry finger. If we put two and two together, in theory we are going to be able to handle about 4000 volt with dried body surface before breaching the mortally dangerous current rating of above 20 milliamperes. Sadly, in practice our organic protective epidermis goes through what is called skin breakdown if the incoming voltage is greater than 500 volts. This lowers our body’s resistance greatly so that the result is an increase in the amount of current that flows with any more voltage increase. For that reason, an electric chair that were used as an execution means utilizes voltage above 1000 volts to go through the executee’s body for an extended period to ensure death. As much as I hate to say this, even relatively low voltages can be extremely dangerous. The level of risk increases with the duration the body in a running circuit. So always remember to be touch-disciplined and decently insulated when dealing with bare circuits to avoid a silly demise.

Heat by electricity: a blessing in disguise?

We might have wondered why electronics feel a bit warm after being turned on for some time. This heat-up is present in every component, including the wire itself, of any electrical circuit so long as an electrical current and lack (or small amount) of resistance is present. The reason for this phenomenon is relatively simple. Increase in temperature as we know it is the result of molecules (chemically bonded atoms) moving around in an increasingly faster fashion. For electricity to flow, negatively charged particles must push through the circuit, inevitably and continuously bump into the molecules of circuit components from steady state into meandering condition (Newton’s first law of motion. I am sure we have all heard of this before) which results in a steady increase in temperature in the atomic scale that eventually grows and radiates the entire segment of wire/component as more and more power (with it, current) is used. This process is also known as power dissipation (electrical energy being converted into thermal), and it does not come to a halt when electricity stops flowing, giving space for the molecule to slow down into its natural speed; and hence, cooling down. Putting it in layman’s terms, imagine a mountain river with a lot of curves along its way to the sea level. The curves meant that some momentum energies are lost due to bumping into the riverside. This creates erosions on the riverside lands while the potential kinetic energies are lost from the water. This is the kind of unwanted energy conversion that happens.

Solar panels are a great example of us exploiting the problem of electricity unwantedly turned into heat. Instead of depleting electricity to create heat, we use the heat accumulated from the sun itself instead to produce a potential difference. This is done by using photovoltaic cells (solar panels) that are capable of the ”Photovoltaic effect”.

Alternate way of doing stuff

The essence of electricity is a bunch of tiny and energetic particles that move on a path creating usable energy; that much we are sure of. So far we have been introduced to a type of electricity that only moves in one direction forever(+ to – or – to +). This is also known as Direct Current. Until 1832, it was unknown to man that there existed another way in which electricity can effectively and efficiently flow and produce precious and useful energy for us to value. After years of research and struggle against a fear-mongering monopolist[1], it now commonly goes by the name “Alternating Current”.

Alternating current works by gradually yet bafflingly rapid reversing the direction it is flowing multiple times every second. The amount of flow direction changes/cycles that happens per second in AC is called frequency (represented by “f”, SI unit; “hertz”). Most of the world electrical grids are segregated between 2 technically-favored options:  50 hertz and 60 hertz.

The graph below shows the value of voltage an AC circuit produces in one cycle. The minus value indicates that the current produced by the voltage source (not the battery) is going in the opposite direction half of the time instead of consuming voltage.


[1] “War of the Currents”

Bear in mind that this is what should happen to a light bulb that is powered by an AC power source, constantly flipping on and off. Fortunately this happens in milli-seconds, so, if the frequency of this power supply is 50 hertz, the light bulb would be experiencing 3 times 0 power input and 2 times maximum power input (1 cycle) every 20 milliseconds. But if that is the case, why is our light bulb not blinking like crazy right now? We should be giving thanks to a component called a capacitor (represented by “C”, SI unit; “farad”). Capacitors act as a buffer or a very small rechargeable battery for smooth transition in case of fluctuating power levels. They store charged particles when adequate power input is available and running in the circuit. Once a deficit in input voltage (power) is detected, the stored power in capacitor is reactively put to work (discharges) until it is used up or the incoming power level returns to a sufficient level that it starts to recharge again. This way, it prevents the light bulb from turning off upon reaching the 0 power input point of AC power supply. Capacitors also stores excess voltage from sudden voltage surge preventing over-voltage from damaging the rest of the circuit components. This compensating functionality of capacitor makes it a valuable component to be included in many electronics for a stable power input

A capacitor at its core is just 2 parallel plates separated by an electrical insulating material called dielectric material (the dielectric material/insulating layer between the plates can take form in air gap, paper, or any material with low electrical conductivity), hence the symbol of  a capacitor is the way it is. A capacitor is used widely in AC power circuits because it allows AC to flow. Unfortunately this is not going to happen in DC based circuits. Capacitors in an AC system are equivalent to a normal conductive path (short circuit) just like wires with additional storage for charged particles. But in a DC system capacitors act as if they are empty air with infinite resistance called “open circuit” instead of conductive wire/component after being fully charged.

It is evident that an open circuit cannot flow electricity at all because it requires a closed system (as seen in AC) and open air even if its a thin area makes a very bad circuit due to its practically–infinite resistance attribute. This makes the value of current flow basically zero (ohms law). So what’s all this segregated treatment by capacitors all about? Well, how a capacitor works is what makes capacitor better suited to be used in certain technology.

A capacitor by itself is neutrally charged, meaning each plate has an equal amount of negative and positive charges on its own, but, once there is a voltage source connected, it is going to start charging and creating a potential difference between the plates until the voltage is equal to the original voltage source and it begins to stop allowing current to pass.

As we have learnt before, negative charges travel the opposite way of positive charges in a DC configuration. As soon as a DC voltage source is connected, it starts to push electrons from plate 1 into plate 2 through the wire, not the gap. Doing this will result in plate 1 having more positive charge (net charge is positive) and plate 2 having more negative charge (net charge is negative), as well as increasing repel/attract force between the charges in the plates trying to maintain charge neutrality. Thankfully the insulating material between the plates ensures that no charged particles may travel directly between the plates. This takes time until the potential difference that is created by the two oppositely charged plates is equal to the voltage source. What happens next is the “strength” of the battery can no longer push additional positive charges from plate 1 to plate 2 due to the increased repelling force of accumulated identical positive charges in plate 2. Once the maximum voltage is achieved we can say that the capacitor is charged and no current is able to flow through the capacitor due to dielectric material in a capacitor not providing any potent particle transfer path and our voltage source not having what it needs to keep pushing the flow of charges. Hence, this is why the capacitor in DC circuit is synonymous with the state of open circuit as it becomes fully charged.

Quite a contrast happens to AC[1]. Alternating current voltage source as mentioned before works like a DC battery being flipped every millisecond. This very short duration allows the capacitor to never get the opportunity to become fully charged as the energy stored is always sufficiently used whenever AC voltage source starts to reach the 0 power point as shown on the graph above. This endless charge and discharge cycle, caused by how AC works, ensuring that the capacitor will never fully block a path in a circuit.

Series of parallel reaction

In electrical circuitry, we have 2 ways to categorize how a circuit is connected, as it affects how voltage and current distribution will behave. Both classifications work by providing a closed-loop wiring for electrical current to flow. A circuit is called a series if every single component is connected in a single path. This way a single broken component will compromise the entirety of the circuit. When connected in series, components will have share the voltage available among themselves. That is the reason why the total voltage running through these three identical lightbulbs in the example circuit below will be equal to the initial voltage input.


[1] The exact process of how we produce DC and AC is a tad bit too technical (not too mention confusing) for a book that explains things in a highly simplified manner by an equally questionable writer. But this is not to imply that I don’t support people who want to learn. That being said, here lies a path I am about to give you, from which you may begin your bewildering and eerie quest for dorkish knowledge. https://tinyurl.com/rdhtnho . Off you go now.

entire circuit useless if not replaced by new bulb or a plain wire.

The opposite condition applies to the level of current flowing through. The value of current flowing through each bulb will remain the same as it was when it had just exited the battery. This is because the electrons only have one path to flow in the entire circuit with no viable junction present to go through. Adding additional identical bulb in a series circuit will cause the entire bulbs’ reduction of brightness due to them having to share the same power input with additional load, just like sharing a slice of bread among 10 people instead of 2 people.

When electrical components have their own direct connection to the voltage source as in the illustration below, they are called Parallel. This direct connection to the power source available to each component allows them to not have to split the usable voltage exerted by the power source. 

A single broken bulb will not affect the rest of the bulbs in any way other than improving battery lifetime

The current going through each bulb is going to be smaller than it is going to be if we configure this into a series setup. This is due to the junctions present. The electrons have multiple places to go and thus they have to split in order to fill each path even if that means a lesser number of electrons going through the available paths, just like our regular vehicle traffic. Adding more identical bulbs will not result in dimming bulbs. They will maintain their brightness, but the batteries will be drained quicker due to them having to draw more current with each added parallel junction. This is why batteries are rated in ampere-hours. A 3V battery with capacity of 1Amp-hour will have the power capacity of a 3Watt-hour, which in theory means we can maintain 1 amp of current output for one hour, or 100mA for 10 hours, or 10mA output for straight 100 hours. If we look back at the water container analogue that was used to explain voltage, current, and resistance, the more time passes the more volume of water have moved from the initial container to the second container, until the point where both containers contain equal amount of water. This means there exists pressure difference and no more current. Even the water wheel will stop rotating. This is what happens when batteries are dead; there is no more chemical reaction that creates potential differences needed to power anything. 

This limited variety of connection structuring and the peculiar behaviour each produces also applies to not only the non-generating peripherals, but also to the equally crucial counterpart that is the source. Loading up multiple same-voltage batteries in a series (cathodes connecting to anodes) allows the batteries to act as a single large source with combined voltage but still retains the power capacity of a single battery. Paralleling identical batteries on the other hand also gives us a single large source but in terms of power capacity which is the combined capacity of the batteries, although this means that the amount of voltage that gets pushed in to the circuit is equal to only that of a single battery that makes up this homogenous battery.

Combining a battery, although very cost effective and useful, is ideally not recommended. This practice is even more unfavorable in terms of safety and reliability when batteries of different age, manufacturer, and voltage are used in unison as one. So do be mindful when considering tinkering with and using mass-produced batteries for your needs.

Closing

While I am certainly honored that you have reached this article, be it with more confusion than when you just started, I do not expect any one to become an expert in electrical engineering after finishing this problematic article of mine or even remotely close to it because that is not what this publication is all about. This is but a double edged sword that has given me a proud chance to realize and embrace my morbidly limited understanding and capabilities in this subject as well as the grand opportunity of improving them. Make no mistake; electrical engineering is a complex subject for most people. Even an experienced electrical engineer requires a constant back and forth of knowledge refreshment. So this is by no means the end of our education journey, as to continue living is to continue learning. So go now, and continue to become better because, when you finally are able to firmly grasp the entire concept of electricity, we will have the power to do anything, literally.

REFERENCES 

Conduction Of Electrical Current To and Through the Human Body: a Review

Raymond Fish-Leslie Geddes – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763825/ 

Thiele, T. (2019, October 21). The Differences Between Series and Parallel Circuits. Retrieved from https://www.thespruce.com/series-and-parallel-circuits-the-basics-1152850

Q & A: The Human Body’s Resistance. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=6793.

Brain, M., & Lamb, R. (2019, August 2). How Electricity Works. Retrieved from https://science.howstuffworks.com/electricity1.htm.

Cox, Brian; Cohen, Andrew (2011). Wonders of the Universe. HarperCollins. p. 109. .

TITILAKARATNA, P. R. A. S. A. N. N. A. (2017, January 15). Electricity basics explained simply. Retrieved from https://www.howequipmentworks.com/electricity_basics/. 

Voltage and Current in Series and Parallel Circuits. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.goodscience.com.au/year-9-physics/measuring-electricity-voltage-and-current/6-voltage-and-current-in-series-and-parallel-circuits/. 

Rainer, M. (n.d.). How Electronic Components Work. Retrieved from https://blog.mide.com/how-electronic-components-work. 

Ada, L. (n.d.). All About Batteries. Retrieved from https://learn.adafruit.com/all-about-batteries/power-capacity-and-power-capability.

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