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# 4.1 - 4.1 Basic Definitions The basic basics Or What parts...

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40 4.1 Basic Definitions The basic basics Or What parts of EE do we need to know? There are 2 principal branches of EE: 1. Power Heating Lighting Motors 2. Signal Instrumentation Communications Control systems Computation Voltage & current These are commonly tracked quantities in electrical circuits. When they change, interesting things can happen. Voltage ( V , E , e ) The voltage between two points is the energy cost (work done) in order to move a unit of positive charge from a lower potential to a higher potential. This is the same as the energy released when a unit of charge moves down from higher to lower potential. (Hence the equivalent name potential difference) Requires 1 J to move 1 coulomb of charge through a potential difference of 1 V. (a coulomb is about 6 x 10 18 electrons) Current ( I , i ) The current is the rate of flow of electric charge past a point. Current is considered to move from positive to negative poles -- even though this is clearly backwards.

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