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Glossary - Basic Electrical
 

 

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

 

AIR CORE INDUCTOR
An inductor that uses air as the only care material.
 
ALTERNATING CURRENT
(AC)  current that periodically reverses direction as it flows.
 
AMPERE
The unit by which electrical current is measured.  One ampere, or amp, is defined as the flow of 6.28 x 1018 electrons past a given point in one second.
 
ARCING
Current flow through air, as can occur across an open switch.
 
ATOMS
Tiny units of matter that contain electrically charged particles.

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CAPACITANCE
The ability to store electrical energy.
 
CAPACITOR
A component used to control and/or increase the amount of capacitance in an electrical circuit.
 
CIRCUIT
A complete path for a current, including a voltage source and resistance.
 
CONDUCTOR
A material that offers very little resistance to electron flow.
 
CURRENT
The movement, or flow, of electrons in a circuit.
 
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DIRECT CURRENT
Current that flows in only one direction.
 
ELECTROMAGNETISM
Magnetism that is created by current flowing through a conductor.
 
ELECTRON
A negatively charged subatomic particle.
 
FRICTION
The rubbing of one material against another.

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INDUCTANCE
A physical property of all conductors that tends to oppose a change in current flow.
 
INDUCTION
The process that produces a voltage due to interaction of a conductor, a magnetic field, and relative motion between them.
 
INDUCTOR
A component specifically designed to increase the amount of inductance in a circuit.
 
INSULATOR
A material that offers a great deal of resistance to  electron flow.
 
OHM
The unit by which resistance is measured.  One ohm is defined as the resistance that allows one amp of current to flow in a circuit when there is one volt pushing the current.
 
OHM’S LAW
A statement of the relationship between current, voltage, and resistance in an electrical circuit: current equals voltage divided by resistance.
 
OPEN CIRCUIT
A circuit in which the resistance is so great that there is no current flow.
 
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PARALLEL CIRCUIT
A circuit containing two or more parallel paths through which current can flow.
 
POWER
The rate at which work is done.  Power is calculated by multiplying current times voltage.
 
PROTON
A positively charged subatomic particle.
 
RESISTANCE
An electrical property that opposes the flow of current through a circuit.
 
RESISTOR
A component that is put into a circuit to reduce current flow.
 
SELF-INDUCTION
A type of induction that occurs within a single conductor; it occurs when a change in the electromagnetic field around a conductor induces a voltage in that conductor.
 
SERIES CIRCUIT
A circuit that contains a single path for current to follow.  The component in a series circuit are connected end to end.
 
SHORT CIRCUIT
A circuit in which the resistance drops to almost zero and current reaches its maximum value.
 
STEP-DOWN TRANSFORMER
A transformer that decreases voltage.
 
STEP-UP TRANSFORMER
A transformer that increases voltage.

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TRANSFORMER
A component used to change AC voltage to meet specific requirements.
 
VOLT
The unit by which voltage is measured.  One volt is defined as the voltage necessary to drive a current of one ampere through a resistance of one ohm.
 
VOLTAGE
The driving force that makes electrons flow.
 
VOLTAGE DROP
The amount of voltage across a resistor in an electrical circuit.
 
WATT
The unit by which electric power is measured.  The amount of power produced when one volt causes one ampere of current to flow.
 
WATT-HOUR
The basic unit used to measure electrical energy.  Watt-hours are determined by multiplying power by time.  One watt-hour is the amount of energy used when one watt of power is delivered to an electrical device for one hour.

 

 
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