Electricity, The Basics: Charges, Forces & Fields (Physics)
- 3 hours on-demand video
- 6 downloadable resources
- Full lifetime access
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of Completion
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- What is an electric charge
- What is an electric field
- The behaviors and interactions of electric charges
- What are electric currents
- Magic tricks using static electricity
- Why certain materials are insulators while other are conductors
- How to use Coulomb’s law to predict the motion of an electric charge
- What are fields in general
- Understand and use the concept of electric field strength
- Drawing electric field lines
- Radial and uniform electric fields
- How to solve problems that involve electric charges, electric forces and/or electric fields
- Basics in Algebra (from around grade 8 - 9)
- Basic in vector mathematics (equivalent grade 9) - Operations on vectors are reminded during the course.
“Electricity, The Basics” teaches the elementary notions you need to know to fully enjoy learning subjects related to electricity:
Electric Charges, Electric Forces and Electric Fields.
*** Structure of the course ***
“Electricity, The Basics” is structured in 3 sections. All sections contain lessons, applied examples, exercises with detailed corrections, and many tips and tricks on how to approach questions in Physics.
Section 1, “Electric Charges”
This initial section starts from the very beginning by defining what a charge really is. Then, it looks at how to quantify a charge, details the principles of conservation of charge and presents how they interact with each other. It also defines an electric current like a motion of charges and explains why some materials conduct electricity and why others don’t.
Then, the student is invited to play with static electricity! This section presents ‘magic’ tricks that can easily be performed by playing with electric charges. Of course, these demonstrations are followed by explanations on what is really going on physically.
The section concludes with the real definition of a charge by briefly introducing the concept of electric field that is developed further in section 3.
And finally, the student can test his new knowledge with a Quiz video.
Section 2, ”Electric Forces”
In Section 2, the student gets familiar with the mathematical expression of the electric interaction between charges, Coulomb’s Law. The student is presented with the parameters that impact the force between two charges (the magnitude of the charges, the distance between them and the environment in which the charges are located).
The student is also exposed to a variety of training exercises that teaches how to manipulate this equation in order to solve physics problems involving electric charges. The exercises are presented in increasing levels of difficulty.
Section 3, ”Electric Fields”
The concept of electric fields is a cornerstone of all topics related to electricity. This is why it is essential to understand what are electric fields, and feel comfortable when manipulating them. This is what this section is all about: The student is immersed in a journey deep into the foundations of electric fields.
The first video focuses on defining what a field is, and from there, it branches to the definition of an electric field. The 2 videos that follow describe in detail the cause and the effect of an electric field, by introducing the notion of electric field strength. These videos are followed by 3 exercise videos where the student can apply this new knowledge. The last of these exercises shows how Coulomb’s Law emerges naturally from the notion of electric fields.
The 4 lessons and exercise videos after that teach how to manipulate electric fields strengths as vectors. After viewing these 4 videos, you will be able to predict the motion of a charge placed in one or more electric fields.
This naturally leads to the concept of electric field lines in the next two videos, with a special focus on the two most common electric field geometries: radial fields and uniform fields.
The final video is an exam level exercise that centralizes all the notions presented in this section.
*** Who is this course for? ***
This course is suited for high-school students studying Physics (from grade 9 to 12). The content of this course complies with Chapter 5.1 of the IB Physics Program, and topic 7.1 of the A-Level Curriculum.
In addition to the lesson videos, all sections contain many exercises and exam inspired questions. This makes this course a very valuable tool for preparing any upcoming physics exam that may have questions related to electric charges, electric forces and/or electric fields.
This course is also suited as a refresher for early university students that wish to solidify the very basics of electricity.
And of course, any person interested in physics and how the world works would also enjoy the voyage.
This course is also aimed at students that are just getting by with their study of electricity by learning lessons by heart, without really understand what is going on. Students in such a situation might soon hit a wall when they try to move forward in their study of electricity. This course will prevent this by rebuilding the foundations.
Please note that this course does not teach electric circuits, nor does is teach about electric potentials and electrical potential energy. It just gives you a solid understanding of the fundamental notions that will allow you to enjoy the study of these topics. (I am most certainly considering producing such courses in the future).
*** What does this course NOT contain – and potential future developments ***
This course provides the student with a solid understanding of the fundamental notions that will allow him or her to enjoy studying subjects related to electricity. A good mastery of the notions of electric charge, electric force and electric fields is required before studying concepts like electric potential and potential energy. Those concepts are not discussed here. Consequently, this course does not discuss electric circuits either.
Producing such a course is a huge time investment. So, if there is enough interest from students, I will produce “Electricity, The Basics Part 2” focused on electric potentials, electric potential energy and electric currents, as well as the very basics of some components like a battery or a resistor. “Electricity, The Basics Part 3” would be focused on the analysis of electric circuits (resistive circuits). And if, students motivate me to make more courses on this topic, they can expect capacitive circuits. magnetism and/or electromagnetic induction… Let me know in the comments if you would like me to proceed.
*** Enjoy the Voyage! ***
Now, it’s time to tighten your seatbelt, and let’s get started!
*** Note about Captions ***
All videos of sections 1 and 2, and all lesson videos of section 3 have been “hard captioned” (entered manually in a format aimed at optimising the user’s experience).
*** The Teacher ***
Edouard Reny is a PhD in Solid State Chemistry and an engineer in Material Sciences. He has taught at university during his academic years. During his industrial years, he has trained chemical engineers and post-graduate students in electrochemical analytical techniques. Since 2013, he is an independent teacher in Physics. He has supported about a hundred IB Physics, A-Level and AP students, one-on-one or in small groups. And, for now, 100% have passed their Physics exam!
"The physics curricula that are taught today in high schools are truly fascinating, much more than 30 years ago when I myself was a high school student. Still, I do observe a problem… I see it during the first sessions with a new student: a lack of enthusiasm and no fascination whatsoever for the marvels they are being shown… For high school students, Physics appears like a painful topic to handle…
After a few months with me, the students start to feel the fascination, and get inspired by it. Many of my students, that took a tutor (me) just to help them pass this “horrible” topic, got very high marks at exams. And guess what, a large fraction of these are now graduating in an area of Physics at University! They got hooked!
My teaching style is focused on inspiring students, because when you are hooked, study becomes a hobby, and when an activity becomes a hobby, it becomes painless to get good at it: Consequence: the marks go up significantly!"
*** Table of Content ***
SECTION 1: Electric Charges
Lecture 1: Introduction
Lecture 2: What is a charge?
Lecture 3: Quantifying a charge.
Lecture 4: Conservation of charge.
Lecture 5: Interactions between charges.
Lecture 6: Electric currents
Lecture 7: Conductors and insulators.
Lecture 8: Static electricity magic: the aluminium can
Lecture 9: Static electricity magic: the soap bubble
Lecture 10: Full definition of an electric charge
Lecture 11: Electric charges - quiz video
SECTION 2: Coulomb’s Law (Electric Forces)
Lecture 0: Introduction
Lecture 1: Lesson
Lecture 2: Exercise 1 – Direct application of Coulomb’s Law
Lecture 3: Exercise 2 – Position of balance between two charges
Episode 4: Exercise 3 – Coulomb’s law in 2 Dimensions
Episode 5: Exercise 4 - Exam level Problem
SECTION 3: Electric Fields
Lecture 0: Introduction
Lecture 1: What is an electric field?
Lecture 2: Electric field strength (part 1)
Lecture 3: Electric field strength (part 2)
Lecture 4: Exercise 1 – Charged sphere in an electric field
Lecture 5: Exercise 2 – Electric field of a proton in an hydrogen atom
Lecture 6: Exercise 3 – Deriving Coulomb’s Law from electric fields.
Lecture 7: Electric field strength vectors in 1D
Lecture 8: Exercise 4 – Position of balance between 2 electric charges
Lecture 9: Electric field strength vectors in 2D
Lecture 10: Exercise 5 – Multiple electric fields in 2 dimensions.
Lecture 11: Electric field lines
Lecture 12: Radial & uniform fields
Lecture 13: Exercise 6 – Motion of a charge between two charged parallel plates
- High school students taking Physics.
- High school students preparing their exams in Physics (IB, A-Levels etc...)
- Entry university students that need a 'refresher' in the very basics of electricity
- Any person that is interested in studying electricity with a fresh start
- High School Physics Teachers that are looking for inspiration to teach their own classes on the subject