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# Australian Curriculum

Physical Science

Electri
city

9.4.2
1
‘Energy & Change: Electricity’ was developed at Rossmoyne Senior
High School to provide students with opportunities to demonstrate
achievement in the ‘Energy & Change’ and ‘Investigating’ Outcomes.
My thanks go to Mr S. Holyoake for his input and to Daniel Wong and
Yang Lit Phay of Year 9 (2002) for their assistance in proofing.

K. J. Patterson
November 2002
Revised KJP November 2008
Revised KJP September 2013 to meet the requirements of the
Australian Curriculum

2
‘9.4.2 Electricity’ was developed at Rossmoyne Senior High School to
provide students with opportunities to demonstrate achievement in
the ‘Physical Science 9' and ‘Inquiry Skills’ Outcomes of the
Australian Curriculum.

K. J. Patterson
November 2013

1
OBJECTIVES
9.4.2 Physical Sciences: Electricity

## 9.4.2 Science Understandings

Investigate and be able to describe factors that affect the transfer of energy
through an electric circuit i.e.,

 charge and Charge Law - objects can become electrically charged because they have
gained or lost electrons.
 conductors are materials that allow a flow of electrons on their surfaces.
 insulators are materials that do not allow a flow of electrons through them.
 resistance refers to how easily electrons can flow through a conductor.
 voltage refers to the electrical force or pressure that causes a current to flow in a
circuit, symbol, V.
 current refers to the flow of electrons through a conductor.
 Amper or amps is the unit of electrical current, symbol, A.
 electrons flow from the negative to the positive terminal of a battery.
 electricity will only flow through a closed circuit.
 conductors and resistors can be formed into series and parallel circuits.
 symbols are used to record electrical circuits.
 electricity can be used to produce sound.
 sound is a longitudinal waveform that results from the compression and rarefaction of
a medium.
 Wave properties include frequency and amplitude.
 frequency of vibrations determines the pitch of the sound produced by a vibrating
object.
 the safe use of electricity requires appropriate behaviours and the use of protective
devices e.g., fuse, earthwire and Residual Current Devices (RCD).

## Be able to explain how each of these electrical appliances work:

 dry cell
 wet cell
 simple circuit - torch
 incandescent, fluorescent, LED
 electric motor
 generator

2
CONTENTS

1. Static Electricity 4
2. Charge! 6
3. Charge Meets Charge 7
4. Atoms and Electricity 8
5. Conductors and Insulators 9
Homework Activity 11
6. How Does an Electric Torch Work? 12
7. Electrical Circuits 13
8. Series Circuit 14
9. Parallel Connections 15
10. A Review of Circuits 16
11. Sources of Electricity 18
12. The Chemical Cell 19
13. The Dry Cell 20
14. Making a Storage Battery 21
15. Making Electricity 22
16. Voltage, Resistance and Current 26
17. Measuring Voltage 27
18. Resistance and Current 29
19. Voltage and Current 30
20. Using Ohm's Law 31
21. Effects of an Electric Current 33
22. Cup speaker 36
23: Make a Mobile Phone 38
24. Pitch and Sound 39
25. Changing the Pitch 40
26. Electrical Safety 41
27. Earth Wires 42
28. Safety With Electricity 43

3
ELECTRICAL ENERGY

In the second part of this unit you will find out more about electrical energy. Electrical energy is an
important form of energy since it affects our lives in many ways.

THINK!!
Make a list of the things to do with electricity that you would like to know

## ACTIVITY 1: STATIC ELECTRICITY

You have probably heard the crackling sound that often occurs when you take off a woollen
sweater, brushing your hair or when closing a car door. The crackling sound is due to static
electricity. The production and movement of electric charges cause static electricity.
Have you ever rubbed a PLASTIC COMB (or a plastic ball point pen) on a WOOLLEN JUMPER
and made small pieces of paper ‘dance’?

AIM: To determine what substances will produce an electric charge when rubbed together.

MATERIALS:
 pieces of cloth: wool, silk, cotton, linen
 piece of fur
 rods of: polystyrene, metal and glass
 plastic ruler
 celluloid film
 electroscope
 very tiny pieces of paper

METHOD A: Copy this table into your notebook then carry out the activity.

## Materials being rubbed together Effects on tiny paper pieces

Plastic and wool
Polystyrene and fur
Glass and silk
Celluloid and cotton
Metal rod and fur
Plastic and linen
Glass and fur

QUESTIONS:
1. Which two substances when rubbed together,
appeared to produce the strongest electric
charge?
2. Which substances were difficult to charge?

4
METHOD B:
Turn a tap on to give a SLOW stream of water.
a. Charge a plastic ruler by rubbing it on some wool.
b. Hold the charged ruler near the stream of water.
c. Describe what you observe.

## METHOD C: THE ELECTROSCOPE

A gold-leaf electroscope is a more accurate device for determining the presence of an electric
charge.

## Ask your teacher to show you how to use an ELECTROSCOPE.

Closely examine how it works.

QUESTIONS:
1. Why is the electroscope a better device for detecting electric
charges than a comb or stream of water?

## 4. Draw a simple diagram to model what happens to electric

charges as a positively charged rod is brought close to a gold-
leaf electroscope.

5
ACTIVITY 2: CHARGE!

AIM: To find out how one electric charge affects another charge
of the same type?

MATERIALS:
 woollen cloth/jumper or fur
 two plastic objects e.g., ballpoint pen and plastic ruler
 Sellotape

METHOD:
1. Attach the cotton to the middle of the plastic ruler with a piece of sticky tape. Make sure the
ruler balances.

2. Electrically charge ONE END of the ruler by rubbing it on the fur or the woollen jumper.

3. Let the ruler hang by the cotton thread but remember which end was charged.

4. Charge one of your other plastic objects (such as a pen) by rubbing it on the same fur or woollen
jumper. This will produce the same kind of electrical charge on the object as on the ruler.

5. Bring the charged pen near to the charged end of the ruler and see what happens.

OBSERVATIONS:

CONCLUSION:

## ✍ Write down a statement that would summarise what

happens when two objects carrying the same
electrical charges are brought together.

6
ACTIVITY 3: CHARGE MEETS CHARGE

## To answer this question, carry out the following activity.

MATERIALS:
 overhead transparency film 24 cm long and 5 cm wide
 polystyrene rod (or plastic ruler)
 wool or fur
 cotton fabric

METHOD:
1. Collect a strip of overhead transparency film 24 cm long and 5 cm wide.
2. Fold the strip lengthwise down the centre.
3. Hang a plastic ruler (or polystyrene rod) by a piece of cotton thread as you
did for the previous activity.
4. Charge one end of the ruler by rubbing it on wool or fur.
5. Charge the overhead transparency strip by laying it on the table and rubbing it with clean cotton
fabric. This should produce a different charge.
6. Bring the charged overhead transparency strip near to the charged end of the ruler and see what
happens.

OBSERVATIONS:
1. Describe what happened.
2. What is one word, which describes the action of the ruler?
3. Write a rule, which summarises what happens when two objects carrying different electrical
charges are brought together.

7
ACTIVITY 4: ATOMS AND ELECTRICITY

To understand static electricity and the flow of electricity, you must look to the building blocks of
matter called ATOMS. Anything that has a mass and takes up space is matter. The smallest pieces
that matter can be broken into are called atoms.

Atoms are made up of many electrically charged particles. The three most important of these
particles are protons, neutrons and electrons.

## Particle Symbol Charge

Proton p +
Neutron N (No charge) 0
Electron e -
All atoms are electrically neutral. This means they have the same number of positively (+) charged
protons as negatively (-) charged electrons. Under certain conditions, atoms can gain or lose
electrons.

Electron
The diagram shows the structure of an atom. cloud

## The protons and neutrons are tightly + proton

packed together, forming a core called
neutron +
the nucleus. The nucleus is surrounded + ++
by a cloud of rapidly moving electrons. electron + +
nucleus

THINK!!
Remember the activity with the plastic ruler and the woollen jumper?
✍ When you rubbed the ruler against the wool, if some of the
electrons from the atoms of the wool were passed to the
ruler, what charge might the ruler build up?
✍ If the ruler were then brought near something, which also
had a negative charge, what would happen?
✍ If particles of tissue paper were attracted to the ruler, what
charge would they have carried?
✍ If two rulers that have been rubbed against a woollen
jumper were brought near each other what would happen?

8
ACTIVITY 5: CONDUCTORS AND INSULATORS

Electricity can be thought of as a flowing stream of negatively charged particles called electrons.
Any material that allows this stream of electrons to move through it is known as a CONDUCTOR.
Any material, which does not allow the flow of electrons, is called an INSULATOR.

## AIM: To find out which common substances are conductors of electricity?

MATERIALS:
 1.5V dry cell ?
 3 x electrical leads with alligator clips
 light globe
 test substances: a mixture of metals and non-
metals including graphite

METHOD:
Connect up the test circuit shown.
Use this circuit to classify a variety of materials as
conductors or non-conductors.

## OBSERVATIONS: Test substance

Record your observations in a suitable table.

CONDUCTORS NON-CONDUCTORS

QUESTIONS:
1. In general, which group of substances can be described as good conductors?
2. Were there any exceptions to this general rule?
3. What material is used to conduct electricity in electrical wires? Why?
4. What is an insulator?
5. What material would you use to insulate an underground electric cable? Why?

EXTENSION:
Examine a piece of underground electrical cable. Draw a labelled diagram showing the parts of this
cable.

9
The table below shows some of the types of materials, which are good insulators and good
conductors.

Insulators Conductors
Glass Silver
Plastic Copper
Ceramic Nichrome metals
Dry wood Aluminium
Air Iron
Rubber Graphite (a form of carbon)
Distilled water Salt water

Use the words CONDUCTOR and INSULATOR to classify the items 1 - 7 in the diagrams below.

## Electrical cable Three pin plug

1. copper wire
4. pin
2. plastic
covering

5. cable

3. plastic
covering

6.

Electricians tools
Power line

10
HOMEWORK: ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES

Choose a household appliance such as an electric drill or a bed lamp for study.
Look closely at the parts of the appliance, which are designed for electrical conduction and
insulation.

CAUTION: Make sure your appliance is unplugged before you study it.

 Where and how have conductors and insulators been used in the appliance?
 Write a short report to answer this question.

## QUESTIONS FOR HOMEWORK OR CLASS DISCUSSION:

1. What are the three basic particles, which make an atom? What is
known about the mass and electrical charge of each particle?
2. What forces hold the electrons around the nucleus?
3. Describe the structure of an oxygen atom.
4. State the rules of attraction and repulsion for charged particles.
5. If protons repel each other, what force holds the protons together in the nucleus?
6. If every atom contains both positive and negative charges, why is a normal atom
electrically neutral?
7. If an atom loses some electrons, what do we know about the overall charge of this
atom?
8. Suggest a definition of “positive charge”.
9. What is electricity?
10. Suggest a reason why crackling is heard when dry hair is brushed vigorously with a comb.

11
ACTIVITY 6: HOW DOES AN ELECTRIC TORCH WORK?

For a current of electricity to flow there must be a CIRCUIT. This means the electricity must be
able to flow around a loop from its source, though a conductor and any appliances until it is able to
return to its source. A SWITCH simply acts to break a circuit. You will need to use this
understanding to complete the following activity.

AIM: To model the parts of a torch and how they make a simple electric circuit.

MATERIALS:
 a dry cell
 a torch globe and holder
 three pieces of insulated wire
 a switch
 torch

METHOD:
Discuss with the members of your group how to use the equipment provided to make a simple
electrical circuit so that the globe lights up when the switch is closed and goes off when the switch
is opened.

WARNING: Never directly join the positive and negative terminals of the dry cell.
This will rapidly flatten the cell.

QUESTIONS:
1. What happened when the switch was pressed down?
2. When the light is glowing, what is travelling through it?
3. What is the source of electricity in this circuit?
4. Why does the globe go out if you open the switch or disconnect a wire?
5. Draw a simple diagram to show how you connected up the parts of your circuit.
6. How is this circuit like that of a torch?
7. How is it different? (You might need to closely examine a torch to answer this
question).
8. Draw a simple diagram to show a section through a torch. Identify all its parts and use arrows to
show the way current flows.

12
ACTIVITY 7: ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS

The path through which electricity flows is called an ELECTRIC CIRCUIT. The diagram in
Activity 6 you have just done shows a circuit made up of a dry cell, a globe and a switch connected
together by wires. When the switch is open, no electricity (which is a flow of electrons) can flow
and the circuit is said to be OPEN. Disconnecting any of the wires breaks the circuit, with the result
that no electrons can flow. The globe will therefore not glow.

A circuit diagram represents a circuit and is made by joining together recognized symbols
representing the parts of the actual circuit. Circuit diagrams are a ‘short hand’ way of representing a
circuit. The example below shows you a pictorial diagram and its circuit diagram.
battery

globe

open switch

## A single cell; the longer stroke

represents the positive terminal Coil

Voltmeter Earth
V

Ammeter Fuse
A

Globe Bell

## Wire crossing but not

Resistor
touching another

Variable resistor

13
SERIES AND PARALLEL CIRCUITS
There are two basic ways of connecting up electric circuits. These are called SERIES connections
and PARALLEL connections. These two circuits have different characteristics and as a result are
used for different purposes. In the next two activities you will find out the differences between these
connections.

## ACTIVITY 8: SERIES CIRCUIT

In some circuits all the electrons flow through each part of the circuit in turn. If the circuit is broken
by a loose connection at any one of the parts of the circuit the flow of electrons stops. This type of
connection is known as a SERIES connection.

SERIES CIRCUIT 1
 Collect the equipment you will need.
 Set up the first circuit shown and try it.
 Add a second globe to the circuit as shown. Try this
circuit.
 Add a third globe in series. Try the circuit again and
observe what happens.
2

## TRY THESE QUESTIONS:

1. What happened as more globes were added to the circuit?
2. What would happen if a cell were added in series?
3. LIST answers to these questions as features of a series circuit.

REMEMBER THIS………….

When globes or cells are connected in chain like this, they are connected in S-E-R-I-E-S.

14
PARALLEL CONNECTIONS
It is often more convenient to have a switch A
for each globe and to have them arranged
so
that if one globe is off, the others can still
function. This type of circuit is one on
which only part of the electron flow passes
through each globe.
This arrangement is called a PARALLEL
connection. With switch A closed current
can be made to flow through each or all of
the three globes by pressing down one or
more of the other switches.
This system of wiring is used in household circuits. The switch in the meter-box corresponds to
switch A in the diagram. When this is open, no electrons can flow through any part of the circuit.
The other switches correspond to the household switches, which control lights and power points in
the various rooms of the house.

## 1. Set up the parallel circuit shown.

2. Investigate the features of the circuit.
Some circuit changes you may wish to try.
 Unscrew a globe.
 Disconnect a lead between two of the globes.
 Add more globes in parallel.
 LIST the features of this parallel circuit.

REMEMBER THIS…………..

When globes or cells are connected side by side like this they are said to be
connected in PARALLEL.

## Look at the following diagrams.

A B C
1. Write down if they are connected in series or in parallel.
2. Are the lights in your house connected in series or parallel? How do you know this?

15
ACTIVITY 10: A REVIEW OF CIRCUITS
Collect a copy of this worksheet from your teacher.
Cut out each set of parts as shown in the boxes on the right. Paste them into your notebooks and
join them with drawn lines so that

1: The globes are in series and connected to the cell so they Set 1
would all light up together.

2: The cells are in series with the two globes also in series, so
both globes would light up together. Set 2

## 3: The 3 globes are in parallel and connected to the cell so

Set 3
that they all work. Put in the switch so they can all be
turned on at the same time.

## 4: The globes are connected in parallel to the cell and there

are two switches so that either globe can be turned on Set 4
separately by pushing a switch.

## Various electrical circuits have been set up around the room.

In your notebook draw the circuit diagram for each of these circuits

16
CIRCUIT PROBLEMS: Collect a copy of this worksheet from your teacher.

For each of the circuits below indicate whether the globes (numbered) is OFF or ON
when the switches (lettered) are in the indicated positions.

## Switch A Globe 1 Globe 2

A
2
Open (O)
1

Closed (C)

A B C 1 2 3 4
4 3 2
O C C
B
C O C
C
O O C A
1
C C C

A B C 1 2 3
B

O C C 1 2
A
C
C C O

O O O
3

A B C D 1 2 3
O C O C A B
C O C C 4
C 1 2 3
C O O C
C O C O D

A B C 1
A
O C O
C C O B C
1
C C C
C O C

17
ACTIVITY 11: SOURCES OF ELECTRICITY

You have learnt already that static electricity can be produced by frictional methods. Electricity can
also be produced in several other ways.

CHEMICAL METHOD
There are two types of appliances, which can provide electricity by chemical means. They might:

##  produce electricity themselves, e.g., a torch battery.

 store electricity and release it when required. The car battery, or storage battery, is of this
second type.

If two different conductors, called ELECTRODES, are dipped into a solution of a chemical called
the ELECTROLYTE and a wire connects the conductors, then a current of electricity will flow.
A simple WET CELL, as this is called, is shown below:

Carbon electrode
Zinc electrode

Electrolyte in beaker

## This type of cell has three important defects:

 The liquid spills if the cell is tipped or shaken.
 While the cell is in use, the zinc plate is gradually eaten away and the acid used up.
 The cell can only operate for a short time before a layer of hydrogen bubbles on the zinc
plate blocks the flow of electricity.

We use chemical cells every day. We use them in torches, transistor radios, mobile telephones,
portable CD players and many other electrical devices.

18
ACTIVITY 12: THE CHEMICAL CELL

AIM: To make a simple wet cell and detect the current it produces.

MATERIALS:
zinc carbon electrode
 zinc electrode electrode
 carbon electrode
 3 x insulated wires
 light globe in socket
 250 mL beaker
 acidified dichromate solution (electrolyte)
 plywood separator
 stopwatch electrolyte in beaker

METHOD:
1. Set up the equipment as shown in the diagram above.
2. Clean the zinc electrode by rubbing the oxide coating off the zinc surface. Note what the
carbon rod and zinc strip look like when they are clean.
3. Immerse both electrodes into the electrolyte using the plywood separator to keep to electrodes
apart.

Note: Don’t put the electrodes into the solution until you are ready to observe the experiment
closely. Avoid contacting the solution with your hands.

## 1. Test your cell and observe any changes.

2. Time how long your cell works.
plywood
spacer
QUESTIONS:
1. What happened when the switch was pressed?
2. How do you know if an electric current is produced
by the cell?
3. Watch what happens at the surface of the electrodes.
What did you observe?
4. What evidence do you have for a chemical change occurring?
5. How long did your cell work?
6. Why do you think the globe stopped glowing?

INVESTIGATION………….
 Compare your ‘operation’ time with the times from other groups.
 List the ways you think you could use to make the globe glow longer.
 Investigate one of these and report on your findings.

19
ACTIVITY 13: THE DRY CELL

Background:
In order to overcome the problems associated with the wet chemical cell a dry cell is used.
A torch ‘battery’ is a dry cell.
If a wire connects the outer zinc case and the central carbon rod, chemical reactions take place
causing a stream of electrons to flow through the wire from the zinc to the carbon.
The zinc case gradually dissolves when the cell is operating and hydrogen gas is formed. A
chemical, manganese dioxide, which is mixed with the paste filling the zinc case, removes the
hydrogen bubbles formed at the carbon electrode. Its action in removing the bubbles is slow, so
with continued use, the current produced decreases. If the cell is disconnected for a while, the
chemicals have time to remove the gas bubbles.

What to do……….

Examine a dry cell that has been cut so that its internal structure can be
seen.

##  Draw a clearly labelled diagram of the dry cell in your notebook.

Refer to the background information above and use the Internet to

## THE LEAD ACCUMULATOR (STORAGE BATTERY)

The lead accumulator, or storage battery, enables electrical energy to
be stored, used and replaced.
In its simplest form, the accumulator consists of two PLATES
dipped in dilute sulphuric acid. One plate, the positive electrode, is
coated with LEAD PEROXIDE; the other, the negative electrode, is
pure LEAD. When the battery delivers a current, the sulphuric acid
acts chemically with both electrodes to form LEAD SULPHATE.
When this material covers both electrodes, the cell is discharged. If a
strong current of electricity is then forced through the battery in the
reverse direction, the chemical reactions, which took place during
discharge, are reversed, and the cell can be recharged ready for
further use.

## Examine a cut-away storage battery to see the features described

above and search the Internet so that you might draw a simple
diagram to show:
 Positive and negative plates
 Separators
 Terminals
 Electrolyte

20
ACTIVITY 14: MAKING A STORAGE BATTERY

AIM: To construct a small chemical cell that models a car battery (or lead accumulator).

MATERIALS:
 two strips of lead strips
 250 mL beaker
 sodium sulfate solution
 switch
 1.5V globe in socket
 3 x insulated wires with alligator clips
 cardboard spacer
 steel wool
Beaker containing sodium
 power pack
sulfate solution

METHOD:
1. Clean the surface of the lead strips with steel wool.
2. Using the alligator clips, connect each wire to a separate strip of lead.
3. Connect up the globe and the switch as shown in the diagram.
4. Half fill the beaker with sodium sulfate solution.
5. Place the lead strips in the sodium sulfate solution.
6. Place the cardboard spacer between the lead strips to
stop them from touching each other.
7. Press the switch.
Cardboard spacer

## ✍ What did you observe when the switch was pressed?

CHARGING THE BATTERY
12V Power pack
Car batteries (or lead accumulators) must be charged before they can he used.
✍ What is normally used to charge a car battery?
How to charge your ‘car battery’:
 Connect the terminals of your cell to the DC terminals of a 12V power pack.
 Charge your battery for at least 5 minutes using the power pack adjusted to 6V DC.
 When your ‘car battery’ is charged, connect it to a globe and a switch.
DON'T LET THE LEAD STRIPS TOUCH EACH OTHER DURING CHARGING

##  Now press the switch.

✍ What did you observe when the switch was pressed?
Research:
a. What are nicad batteries. How do they work?
b. What happens when a nicad battery is recharged?
c. How do mercury batteries like those used in cameras work?
d. What types of batteries are in smart phones and tablets?

21
ACTIVITY 15: MAKING ELECTRICITY
A.MAGNETIC METHOD

BACKGROUND:
When a magnet and a coil of wire move in relation to each other, electrons will move in the coil. If
there is no movement, there is no current. This method of producing electricity is made use of in the
electric generator.

## AIM: To generate electricity using the magnetic method.

MATERALS:
galvanometer
 galvanometer
 strong bar magnet strong
 coil of wire bar
magnet
METHOD:
1. Set up the simple generator circuit shown.
2. Move the magnet up and down inside the coil.
3. Observe any deflection of the needle of the coil of wire
galvanometer.

OBSERVATIONS:

CONCLUSION:
1. Summarise in the form of a flow diagram what you have learned about how a generator
works.
Use these terms in a sequence: coil electricity movement energy magnet

Extension……….
How can more current be produced?
 List some possible variables
 Propose an hypothesis

22
HOMEWORK ACTIVITY
1. Find out the location and source of energy of three major power stations in this
state.
2. Where else are generators used to produce electricity?

## THE ELECTRIC MOTOR

Your teacher will show you demonstrate model of a simple electric motor. It should have features
that can be matched with the diagram below:

brushes
commutator
armature

support

axle
N N
to positive
terminal

## strong bar magnet

to negative terminal
drawing pin (field magnet)
of power pack

QUESTIONS:
1. What is the purpose of each of the following listed parts of the motor:
 the brushes
 the commutator
 the coil
 the magnets

2. Suggest three ways in which the motor could be made more powerful.
3. Explain how each of the ways you listed will work to increase the power of the motor.
4. What would happen if the polarity of the wires were reversed? Try this out.
5. What would happen to the motor if the wiring of the coil were to break or ‘burn out’?
Explain.
6. As an appliance like a hair dryer gets old, the brushes on an electric appliance may wear
out. What effect would this have on the operation of the hair dryer?
7. The brushes on electrical appliances are made of carbon, not wire. Why is carbon a suitable
material to use in this application?

23
THE ELECTRIC GENERATOR

If instead of the motor being attached to a power pack it was attached to an ammeter, and the
armature was turned, what do you think would be the result?

## MATERIALS: (per group)

 motor construction kit
 small screwdriver
 micro-ammeter
 2 x insulated electrical leads with alligator clips (or banana plugs) attached

METHOD:
1. Use the screwdriver to tighten any screws that might have worked loose on your motor.
2. Connect the two insulated wires between the motor and the ammeter.
Make sure you join positive (red) on the motor to positive (red) on the ammeter and negative
(black) on the motor to negative (black) on the ammeter.
3. Spin the armature of the motor at different speeds.
OBSERVATIONS:

THINK!!!
Your teacher may show you some more
powerful generators.
What are some ways you could you make a generator that was more powerful?

24
B MAKING ELECTRICITY: HEATING METHOD

## Heating the join between two different metals can

produce a very small flow of electrons. In the
diagram below the different metals are connected to
the terminals of a sensitive measuring device such as copper wire
a micro-ammeter.
The greater the heating at the junction, the greater
will be the electron flow. A temperature-measuring
device that works on this principle is known as a
thermocouple, and is used in industry to measure
high temperatures. Marine biologists also use
thermocouples to measure water temperatures.
nichrome wire
Your teacher may demonstrate a thermocouple
temperature sensor using a data logger.

## C MAKING ELECTRICITY: LIGHT METHOD

When light energy falls on certain metals, electrons receive sufficient energy to leave their atoms
and become free. This is known as the PHOTOELECTRIC EFFECT. The flow of current can be
sufficient to operate such devices as calculators and the electricity can be stored to power warning
lights at sea, telephones on freeways and even garden lights.

AIM: To show how light energy can be transformed into electrical energy.

MATERIALS:
 photovoltaic cells
 insulated wire with alligator clips or banana plugs
 micro-ammeter
 2.2 V light globe in a holder

METHOD:
 Collect one photovoltaic cell and connect it to a micro-ammeter.
 Read the current produced in different light sources.
 Collect a light globe in its holder. Construct a circuit so that the globe lights up. You may
need to collect additional photovoltaic cells and connecting wires.

RESULTS:
 In your notebooks record the measurements in a suitable table.
 Draw a diagram of your circuit.

25
ACTIVITY 16: VOLTAGE, RESISTANCE AND CURRENT

Voltage or electrical pressure is the force, which drives electrons around an electrical circuit. It is
measured in volts (V). In the following activities you will learn more about voltage and how it is
measured in electrical circuits.

## AIM: to understand the relationship between voltage, resistance and current.

MATERIALS:
 two globes
 2 x dry cells
 switch
 insulated wires with alligator clips

METHOD:
1. Examine the globes you will be using. Look closely at the writing on the side of each of
 Copy the writing on the torch globe.
 What does V stand for?

## 2. Connect two globes, one cell and a switch together

to make a series circuit A.
3. What happens when you press the switch?
4. This time connect two globes, two cells and a switch together, to make series circuit B.
5. What happens when you press the switch?
6. Now connect another cell into your circuit, once more in series, to make circuit C.
7. What happens when you press the switch?

QUESTIONS:
1. What happened to the brightness of the globes as the voltage was increased?
2. In circuit C, how many 1.5 volt cells did you use?
3. Add together the voltage on each cell. What answer do you get?
4. Now add together the voltage on each globe. What answer do you get?
5. Is the voltage on the cells almost equal to the voltage on the globes?

MAKE A PREDICTION

## ✍ What do you think would happen if three 2.2V globes and

only two 1.5V cells were connected into a circuit? Make
 Now connect up this circuit.

## ✍ Describe what happened when you pressed the switch.

26
MAKE ANOTHER PREDICTION

✍ What do you think would happen if three 1.5V cells and only one 2.2V globe were connected
into a circuit? Make your prediction.

## ACTIVITY 17: MEASURING VOLTAGE

VOLTAGE is the electrical pressure, which forces the current through a circuit. It can be compared
with the pressure that forces water through a pipe.

## ✍ Draw the symbol for the voltmeter.

✍ What are the units of voltage?
MATERIALS:
 two 2.2V globes
 two globe holders
 three 1.5V dry cells
 six connecting wires
 one voltmeter

METHOD:
1. Examine a dry cell. What is the voltage of the cell?
2. Look at a voltmeter
3. Examine its scale closely.
4. What is the largest voltage the voltmeter can be used to measure?

## NOTE: When using a voltmeter always remember to:

 Connect the black terminal to the (-) terminal of the dry cell.
 Connect the red terminal to the (+) terminal of the dry cell.
 Do not press the switch until your teacher has checked your circuit.

## 5. Connect up circuit (I) shown.

v
Circuit I Press the switch and read
the voltage. Record this in
the table similar to that
shown on the next page.
Circuit III v
Prepare circuits (II) and (III). Measure and record the voltages in each circuit.
Circuit II v
27
CIRCUIT NUMBER OF CELLS Voltage (Volts)
I
II
III

QUESTIONS:
1. In circuit (I) did the voltage measured equal the voltage marked on the cell?
2. In which circuit is the voltage greatest?
3. In which circuit did the globes glow brightest?
4. In which circuit is the current flowing the smallest?
5. Are the cells connected in series or parallel?
6. What would the voltage be with four cells?

ELECTRIC CURRENT
An electric current as you now know is a flow of electrons in a conductor. It is measured in units
called Amps. An Ammeter is used to measure electric current.

## There are two types of electric current.

 Direct current or D.C.
This is a stream of electrons moving in one direction only. Batteries supply this type of electrical
current.
 Alternating current or A.C.
This is the type of current supplied by power stations for our homes. The electric current moves
backwards and forwards along the conducting wires 50 times every second.

ELECTRICAL RESISTANCE
Even though electrons can flow through a conductor, there is always some resistance tending to stop
the flow of electrons. Electrical resistance is measured in units called ohms, symbol, Ω.

## Three factors affecting resistance are:

 Nature of the material used.
 Length of the conductor
 Thickness of the conductor.

## Your teacher will explain these factors to you in greater detail.

28
How do we measure an electrical current?
What relationship is there between
 Resistance and Current?
 Voltage and Current?

## ACTIVITY 18: RESISTANCE AND CURRENT

AIM: To find out how the current in a circuit changes as the resistance increases.

METHOD:
A
1. Set up your circuit as shown in the diagram.
3. Press the switch for approximately 15 seconds and
measure the current flowing. Record the results in
a table like the one below.
4. Measure and record the current when 2, 3 and 4 and 5 globes are connected in series.

RESULTS:
1. Copy a table similar to the one below into your notebook

Resistance
Current (Amps)
(Number of Globes)
1
2
3
4
5

2. In your notebook plot the results you obtained on a graph. Remember to plot the independent
variable on the correct axis.

QUESTIONS
1. What happened to the current when the resistance of the circuit was increased?
2. Why aren’t light globes good resistors to use when you want accurate experiment results?
3. What do you predict the current should be if six globes are used?
4. Why was it important to keep the voltage constant during the experiment?

29
ACTIVITY 19: VOLTAGE AND CURRENT
Your teacher will provide you with a record sheet for this activity that resembles this page. Follow
the instructions carefully. Carry out the activity and record your conclusions after examining your
results carefully.

## WHAT HAPPENS TO THE CURRENT IN AN ELECTRICAL CIRCUIT

WHEN THE VOLTAGE IS ALTERED?

## HOW WOULD YOU TEST YOUR HYPOTHESIS?

1. What do you have to change?
2. How are you going to change it?
3. What are you going to measure?
4. How are you going to measure it?
5. What equipment do you need?

MATERIALS:
Now write down the materials you will need to do this activity.

METHOD:
Write down the stages of your experiment. Do this in your book and number each stage of the
experiment procedure.

## RESULTS: Draw a table in which to record your results.

CONCLUSIONS: What relationship did you establish between voltage and current?

30
ACTIVITY 20: USING OHM'S LAW

OHM’S Law gives the overall relationship between the voltage, current and resistance of an
electrical circuit. It states………

When a voltage is applied to a given resistance, the greater the voltage the
greater the current that flows through the resistance.

V = IR V - voltage (volts)
I - current (ampere)
R - resistance (ohms)

PROBLEM:
If a 1.5 volt cell is connected to a lamp with a resistance of 10 ohm, what current will flow through
the lamp?

R = 10 ohms

## 5. Calculate the value of the unknown I x 10 = 1.5

I = 1.5
10

I = 0.15A

6. State the answer clearly: The current flowing in the lamp was 0.15A

I R

## This little trick might

show you how to use

31
PROBLEMS INVOLVING OHMS LAW

1. An electromagnet draws 25 ampere of current and has a resistance of 10 ohms, what is the
voltage being supplied?
2. If a current of 0.2 ampere flows in a 10 ohm resistor, what voltage is being applied?
3. Determine the voltage of a lead accumulator battery if 1.5 ampere of current is required to
operate a car horn, which has a resistance of 4 ohms.
4. Calculate the current flowing in an electric kettle if its resistance is 25 ohms and the mains
voltage is 250 volts.
5. If a car dash light has a resistance of 120 ohms and the vehicle has a 12-volt battery, what
current will flow through the headlight?
6. What is the current in a torch globe if its resistance is 6 ohm and the torch contains two new 1.5
volt batteries connected in series?

7. A toaster circuit carries a current of 3A and operates on a voltage of 240V. What is the
resistance of the toaster circuit?
8. What is the resistance of a radio resistor if a current of 0.1A flows when a voltage of 2V is
connected across it?
9. Calculate the resistance of a hair dryer if it operates on 110 volts and carries a current of 2
amperes.
10. An ammeter was used to measure the current flowing through a coil of wire at various voltages.
The following set of figures was taken.

Reading 1 2 3 4 5
Current (A) 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9
Voltage (V) 2.5 3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5

## a. What is the independent variable in this experiment?

b. What is the dependent variable?
c. Plot these figures on a graph.
d. Do the figures match Ohm’s Law?
e. What is the resistance of the coil of wire?

## Some more complex examples:

11. A ceramic resistor of resistance of 20  carries a current of 5 mA.
What is the voltage being applied across the resistor?
12. An industrial motor operates at a voltage of 3.3kV. If it draws an 11-
ampere current what is the total resistance of the motor?

32
ACTIVITY 21: EFFECTS OF AN ELECTRIC
CURRENT

## 1. THE HEATING EFFECT

Your teacher will have shown you what happens when a current passes through
a piece of wire and a piece of steel wool.

## ✍ What two forms of energy were released during these demonstrations?

✍ Why is the heating effect of an electric current often dangerous?
✍ The heating effect is often used in household appliances and tools. Make a list of all the
appliances you can think of, which use this effect.

## HOMEWORK ACTIVITY: REPORT ON A HEATING APPLIANCE

Select a household heating appliance and prepare a short presentation on its operation.
Consider:
 how it works.
 the construction of the appliance.
 the materials it is made of (electrical insulators, conductors, high resistance wires).
 the electrical specifications of the appliance.

2. LIGHTING EFFECTS

Electricity can produce light. Obtain a copy of this worksheet from your teacher.
33
Use library resources to find out how the electric light bulb, fluorescent tube and LED work.
A. The incandescent globe
1.
1. Name each of the labelled
parts.
2.

## 2. Explain the purpose of each of 7.

the labelled parts of the globe. 3.

6.

## 3. Briefly describe the pathway

of electricity through the
5.
globe.

4.
B. The fluorescent light

1.

3. 4.
2.

## 1. Label the indicated parts.

2. Briefly describe their purpose in the fluorescent light.

## 1. How does an LED work?

2. Why are LEDs being used in preference to incandescent and fluorescent lights?

## 3. THE MAGNETIC EFFECT

Electricity passing through a conductor can produce a magnetic filed. This principle is used in an
electromagnet.

34
1. Make an electromagnet by winding some wire
around a steel bar. Connect the ends of the wire
to a cell and switch.

## 2. Now unroll the wire.

3. Roll the wire into a large fat coil. Tape the wires together.
The coil should be about five centimetres from one side wire 5 cm
to the other.

## 4. Connect the coil to a cell and a switch.

Let the coil hang over the edge of a table.

## 5. Hold a bar magnet so that one end is in the middle of the

coil. Push the switch. Observe any changes.

N S

coil magnet

6. Now put the other end of the magnet in the middle of the magnet coil.

## 7. Push the switch again.

✍ What changes did you observe each time the switch was pressed?
✍ Link these changes together in a flowchart using the following words in a sequence:
Magnet Movement Coil Electricity

35
ACTIVITY 22: CUP SPEAKER

AIM: To use simple materials to make a speaker that can work with an iPhone, Android phone,

EQUIPMENT:
 about 60 cm of insulated copper magnet wire, 24 gauge or higher (thinner)
 2 (or more) Neodymium magnets
 3.5 mm jack
 a cup (foam or paper)
 sandpaper
 scissors
 tape
 pen, pencil, or marker (used for winding the magnet wire).

METHOD:
1. Cut a length of about 60 cm of wire.
2. Since the wire is coated, use the sandpaper to scrape away about 2 cm of the coating on
both ends of the wire.
3. Wrap the coated part of the wire around the pen, pencil, or marker to make a coil, leaving 10 cm
of magnet wire free at each end.
4. Remove the coil from the pen, pencil, or magnet wire coil
marker. You should now have a loop of wire
with two bare ends sticking out from the
coiled section. Signal source Styrofoam
or paper
e.g. iPhone
5. Tape the coil flat to the outside bottom of the cup
cup, making sure to keep the loose ends of
wire free.
6. Unwind the cover on the jack to expose the
terminals. Connect the ends of the wire to
these terminals inside the 3.5mm jack. Ignore
the earth terminal.
7. Turn on the MP3 player, CD player, or radio.
8. Plug the mini mono-phone plug into the MP3 player, CD player, or radio. Turn the volume up a
bit louder than you normally would.
9. With one hand, hold the cup to your ear.
13. With your other hand, bring the magnets near the coil of wire.
14. You should now be able to hear music coming from your cup speaker.

36
How does it sound?
You might notice that the sound in your homemade cup speaker isn’t as good as the sound from a
speaker you’d buy. But there are ways to make the sound quality better. The sound quality of your
cup speaker is affected by
 how many times you wrap your coil and how tightly the coil is wound
 the quality of the magnet wire (thinner is better) and coated is a must, since uncoated wire
create a short circuit.
 the quality of your magnets (strong neodymium magnets are best)
 how many magnets you use (we suggest two, but you can use more)
 what your cup is made of (paper and Styrofoam, for example, produce
different sounds).
Experiment with various types of materials and different ways of putting it all together to see if you

## What’s going on?

When you plug the headphone cable in to your sound source, the sound (in the form of an electric
current) goes out the wire, through the coil, and out the other end. When electric current goes
through a coil of wire, the coil of wire becomes an electro-magnet. Reversing the current through
the coil switches the north and south end of the electromagnet. The coil will move toward and away
from the permanent magnet, depending on the direction of the electric current. Because the coil is
attached to the cup, the bottom of the cup will also move toward and away from the magnet.

The bottom of the cup will push air back and forth, creating sounds that will travel through the air to
your ear. If the coil is attached to a large, low-mass material, it will vibrate that material, which in
turn will vibrate the air, making a louder sound.

www.exploratorium.edu/afterschool

## What did you

say?

37
WHAT IS SOUND?

In the previous activity, the sound itself has been produced by the vibrations of the cup. These
vibrations compress and then rarefy the air next to the cup base. A sound wave travels away from
the cup base as a wave of these compressions and rarefactions. Without the air the sound could not
be transmitted. The air is called a MEDIUM for sound transmission.

Compression
Rarefaction

Longitudinal waves

Crest
ACTIVITY 23: MAKE A MOBILE PHONE

AIM: Use the tin can telephones outside to show how well sound can travel through a solid.
MATERIALS:
 20 x empty soup cans, with a small hole punched into the base ofTrough
each can
 15m length of string
 2 x 5m lengths of 50mm polypipe.
 Party clicker

PROCEDURE:
 This activity is best done outside.
 Working with in small groups, insert the string through the hole in the base of the first can
then tie it off with a knot so that the knot is inside the can and the string extends outwards
from the hole.
 Repeat with the other end of the string in the second can.
 Pair up with another student in your group, each holding one of the cans, gently stretch the
string between the cans taught. Speak into the can, while your partner listens at the other
end.

QUESTIONS:
1. What is the purpose of the tin can in this activity? What is the purpose of the string?
2. Normally, without a telephone, the sound of a conversation might only travel several metres,
beyond which it cannot be heard? What is the explanation for this?
3. Using a length of polypipe to speak quietly down the tube to a partner listening at the other end.
Speak at the same volume to your partner over the top of the polypipe. In which case could the
voice be best heard? Can you explain your observations?
4. Can sound waves be reflected? Make a click noise at one end of one of the lengths of polypipe
with the other end close to a hard surface, like a wall. An observer can use a second length of
polypipe held to the ear at one end and close to the wall end of the first piece of polypipe. Can
the sound be heard through the second pipe? How might the sound waves have reached the
observers ear? What is the best angle to hold the two pipes?
38
ACTIVITY 24: PITCH and SOUND

We have all heard of the word ‘pitch’ being used to describe a sound. We talk of sounds
having a high or low pitch. What does this mean?

MATERIALS:
 Audio oscillator
 Range of differently pitched tuning forks.
 Speakers
 Insulated leads with alligator clips
 Cathode Ray Oscilloscope (CRO)
 Microphone

PROCEDURE:
 Your teacher will connect the oscillator to the speakers then turn it on.
 By changing the frequency of the sound waves differently pitched sounds will be produced.
 Strike a tuning fork as shown by your teacher and amplify the sound through the
microphone.

QUESTIONS:
 What happens to the nature of the sound produced when its frequency is increased?
 Draw diagrams to show the difference between pitch (frequency) and loudness (amplitude)
as shown by the CRO.
 Record the highest and lowest frequency sounds that you can hear. How did your hearing
range compare with others in the class.
 What happens to the pattern traced on the CRO when different tuning forks were struck?
 What happens to the volume of sound produced by a tuning fork when it is vibrated against
different surfaces, large and small?

## CHALLENGE: Why does sound travel fastest in solids?

39
ACTIVITY 25: CHANGING THE PITCH

The note made by plucking a guitar string or pressing a key on a piano is determined by the length
and tension of the vibrating string. In a wind instrument like a recorder, flute or trumpet the pitch is
determined by the length of the vibrating air column.

AIM:

1. To see how changing the length and tension of a vibrating string affects the pithc of the note
produced by that string.
2. To see how changing the length of a vibrating air column can affect the pitch of the note it
produces.

MATERILAS:
 sound board with strings
 range of test tubes of different lengths and diameters
 beaker of water

METHOD:
This activity is best done outside the classroom.

1. Using the sound board, adjust the length and tension of a string to investigate the factors
affecting the pitch of the sound produced when the string is plucked gently.

2. Use the test tubes and partly fill them with water to investigate the pitch of the sound that can be
produced by blowing over the top of the tube.

RESULTS:
1. List the factors that contributed to the production of a high pitched sound from a plucked string.
2. List the factors that affected the pitch of the sound produced when you blew across the top of a
test tube.

CONCLUSION:

## Complete these statements:

 A plucked string will produce a high pitched sound if it is.................., .................
and.................
 The pitch of the sound produced by a vibrating air column depends upon its ...................

CHALLENGE:
At the Opening Ceremony for the New Science Building in 2006, a small group
of Year 8 students played ''Advance Australia Fair'' by blowing across the tops
of test tubes.

## How would they have done this?

40
ELECTRICITY IS DANGEROUS!
ACTIVITY 26: ELECTRICAL SAFETY
 Can’t see it!
 Heart stopper!
 Severe Burns!
SHORT CIRCUITS AND FUSES
A fuse is designed to break the circuit if the current becomes too large. It is used in circuits to make
them safer.
globe

SHORT CIRCUITS
Your teacher will show you what happens when a car
battery is short-circuited.
✍ Describe what happened. bare wires

## ✍ Why do you think short circuits are dangerous?

FUSES
The following activity allows you to observe the function of a fuse. fuse wire
As you perform the activity, determine how a fuse is used in a
household circuit.
In this activity you can use a strand of steel wool (2.5 cm long) as a
fuse wire.
Connect two cells, two globes and a fuse wire into a circuit.
‘Short circuit’ the circuit with a screwdriver.

QUESTIONS:
cork
1. What did you observe when the circuit was shorted?
2. What happened to the globes when the circuit was short-circuited?
3. Explain how a fuse can prevent an electrical fire.
4. Why is it dangerous to replace a fuse with another of higher electric current rating?
5. Discuss with your group members, the most likely causes of a short circuit in a house. List
them.

Ask your teacher to show you some household fuse holders and some car fuses.

NOTE
Standard fuse wire is a fine copper wire coated with tin, and will melt
whenever a certain amperage is exceeded. It normally comes in two
types 8 amp and 15 amp, 8 amp wire being used in the lighting circuit
and 15 amp in the power circuit.
When a fuse wire melts, it usually indicates that there is an excessive
current, probably due to a faulty circuit. The correct procedure is to
switch off all appliances in that circuit, have the fault corrected, and
replace the fuse with wire of the correct breaking amperage.

41
ACTIVITY 27: EARTH WIRES

The earth wire in any electrical appliance is “your lifeline” - you wouldn't drive your car without
brakes! Don’t use an appliance that isn’t earthed!
If an internal fault occurs in the appliance, the earth wire acts to carry current away from the
appliance to the ‘ground’, usually via a water pipe at the front of the house. This current is very
rapid and causes the fuse to overload and melt or trips a circuit breaker. This breaks the circuit,
protecting the wiring of the house from overheating and catching fire. It also stops current to the
faulty appliance, protecting a person who might touch the
Master switch appliance.
Circuit
breaker However, a person touching the toaster at the moment it short
circuits could still be injured, possibly fatally, despite the earth
fuse
wiring protection. The reason for this is that the person might
form the easiest pathway for the electricity to travel to earth,
especially in a situation where the person is standing on a wet
surface, or is very sweaty.

active For this reason, Residual Current Devices (RCD’s) are also
neutral
installed in houses. These detect very small differences
EARTH
between the current entering and leaving the house. These
devices protect the person from electric shock.

## For Safety’s sake, be down to earth - with proper flexible

cords, plugs, house wiring and a proper earth connection.
Make sure an RCD is fitted to your house.

Not all appliances however are earthed. Those that are not are
clearly marked as having DOUBLE INSULATION built into
earth pin them according to strict engineering standards. These are the
earth wire
only appliances safe to use without an earthing system. If you
are in doubt about the safety of any of your appliances, contact
Western Power.

## The diagram above shows how

household appliances, like a toaster,
are ‘earthed’.

## Examine the plug of a household appliance.

How many pins does it have?
If it has three pins it is most likely ‘earthed’. Neutral pin

Earth wire Appliances with only two pins are not earthed.
 How are they made ‘safe’ to use? Earth pin Active pin

##  What is meant by ‘double insulated’?

42
ACTIVITY 28: SAFETY WITH ELECTRICITY
Make a poster to advertise one or two of the following important aspects of electrical safety:

## Electricity and water are a dangerous combination.

Incorrectly wired extension cords must be have modern approved 3-pin plugs and
sockets.

Switched off the power and remove the plug at a power point.

## If in any doubt about an appliance, or it needs adjustment or cleaning, remember the

Golden Rule: “SWITCH OFF” and “PULL OUT”. Always pull the PLUG not the CORD.

Some appliances such as vacuum cleaners and frypans, have a built-in switch. When you are
called away, switch them off AT THE POWER POINT. Children are curious so remember
the Golden Rule:
“SWITCH OFF” and “PULL OUT”

Frayed or damaged cords are dangerous. Discard them and have them replace with safe,
insulated, three core flex.

All electrical appliances used outside - lawn mowers, hedge cutters, power tools, etc.,
must be properly earthed and supplied from a properly earthed power point.

If you’re a home handyman, draw the line at electrical jobs; always get them done by an
electrician.

## Teach your children the safety rules regarding fallen wires.

1 - STAND WELL CLEAR.
2 - STAND GUARD to prevent other people from going near the wires. Remember there
will be two ends.
3 - SEND SOMEONE TO CALL WESTERN POWER AND THE POLICE. If you are
alone, wait for someone to pass by, and ask them to assist.

Always be careful when carrying out home maintenance or retrieving a ball near power
wires connected to your house or shed.

## Be down to earth, about your main earth wire - usually

it is connected to a water pipe in the ground - check it
regularly.

## Outside wires and connections can become frayed and

worn and dangerous if touched. Check around your
property and if need be call Western Power. They will

## Overloaded circuits may cause a fire! Always use the

correct fuse wire and you won't be left in the dark!

43

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