A circuit is a closed loop that electrons travel through. If a circuit is open, that means that the wires are cut off or there is a gap so that electrons cannot make a full trip around the circuit. If a circuit is closed, there is a complete path that electrons can take.
DC Circuits stand for a Direct Current (DC) circuit. This is opposed to an Alternating Current (AC) circuit which is not covered in AP Physics 1 as it is much more complicated.
Current (I) - How much charge passes through an area over time. Measured in amperes (A).
Resistance (R) - How much an object resists current flow. Measured in ohms ( Ω ).
Voltage (V) (potential difference) - the difference in potential energy between two locations. This is sometimes referred to as potential difference. Measured in volts (V).
DC circuits in real life often look like a tangled ball of yarn. In order to have a clearer visualization of circuits in physics, we use DC circuit graphs as a simpler representation of a circuit.
A battery moves electrons from a low potential state to a high potential state.
A resistor resists current. Lightbulbs and motors can also be treated as resistors because they convert electrical energy to light or kinetic energy and therefore resist the current.
A switch switches the current. It turns something on and off by opening and closing the circuit.
An ohmmeter measures the resistance of a resistor (ohms -> ohmmeter)
An ammeter measures the current (amperes -> ammeter)
A voltmeter measures the voltage (volts -> voltmeter)
V = IR: Voltage is Current times Resistance.
I = V/R
R = V/I
P = IV: Power is Current times Voltage. Remember Poison IVy!
Calculating voltage can be thought of as adding the voltages to get form point A to point B.
Series circuit voltage: Vtotal = V1 + V2 + V3 + V4...
Total voltage is the sum of all voltage drops in series.
Parallel circuit voltage: Vtotal = V1 = V2 = V3 = V4
Total voltage is the same as just one of the voltage drops. All voltage drops are equal.
Series circuit curren: Vtotal = V1 + V2 + V3 + V4...
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