Unit 21: Vocabulary

Please study the 14 vocabulary terms below. Then press the Mark Complete button to continue.
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capacitor
an electrical component which uses electrostatics to store energy
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The flash bulb in my camera has an old capacitor and takes a long time to charge up.
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current
a flow of electric charge (such as electrons or ions)
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You can experience the current flow in a copper wire if you hook one end up to a voltage source.
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electrical circuit
a network or interconnection of electric components in a closed loop
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This electrical circuit is not in a closed loop and that is why the current does not flow to the bulb.
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EMF (electromotive force)
an energy measured in volts; refers to the potential which causes the flow of electrons (and ions) in a conductor
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A simple battery is the most common source of electromotive force in electronic toys, but some modern toys even use solar cells to power up!
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IC (integrated circuit)
a set of electronic interconnections in a small "chip" or plate where all the elements are inseparable
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ICs get smaller and smaller ever year due to the rapid development of nanotechnology - today there are billions of transistors inside a typical chip.
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light bulb
a source of electric light which uses a filament stored in a glass enclosure
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I need a larger light bulb in my table lamp - it is too dark for me when I study at night.
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LED (light-emitting diode)
a semiconductor source of light
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LEDs are an increasingly popular source of light in homes nowadays because they consume much less energy than the older style incandescent light bulbs.
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path
a continuous trace or wire in electric circuit which connects various components
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After a long investigation I found a break in the path which connected the bulb and the battery - that is why the circuit didn't work.
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PCB (printed circuit board)
a laminate board which supports electric components in the circuit
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We order ready-made PCBs without any components, so our students can practice their soldering skills.
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resistor
an electrical component, which restricts the flow of electrons in the circuit
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If you add another resistor to your serial connection just before the bulb, the light will not be so blinding.
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solar cell
an electrical device which converts the energy from light into electricity
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There is a small solar cell in my watch, thanks to that it was working even after the battery died.
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soldering iron
a handy tool used to assemble the electrical components on a PCB (printed circuit board)
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My home soldering iron is really handy but at work we use soldering stations which allow us to control the heating temperature.
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voltage
also known as "electric tension", is a difference between electric potential between two points
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If there is a voltage between two points of a circuit, and you connect these points with a wire, then the current will flow.
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voltaic cell
a device that derives energy from chemical reaction, such as in a battery
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Car batteries are a good example of voltaic cells: there are electrodes which are submerged in a solution, and due to some chemical reaction which takes place in the solution, the energy is derived.
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