Driver's Fabulous Fourth Grade

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4.3 Electricity and Magnetism

  • A continuous flow of negative charges (electrons) creates an electric current.
  • The pathway taken by an electric current is a circuit.
  • Closed circuits allow the movement of electrical energy.
  • Open circuits prevent the movement of electrical energy.
  • Electrical energy moves through materials that are conductors (metals).
  • Insulators (rubber, plastic, wood) do not conduct electricity well.
  • In a series circuit, there is only one pathway for the current.
  • In a parallel circuit there are two or more pathways for the current.
  • Rubbing certain materials together creates static electricity.
  • Lightning is the discharge of static electricity in the atmosphere.
  • Electrical energy can be transformed into light or motion, and can¬† produce thermal energy.
  • Certain iron-bearing metals attract other such metals (also nickel and cobalt).
  • Lines of force extend from the poles of a magnet in an arched pattern defining the area over which magnetic force is exerted –a ¬†magnetic field.
  • An electric current creates a magnetic field, and a moving magnetic field creates an electric current.
  • A current flowing through a wire creates a magnetic field.
  • Wrapping a wire around certain iron-bearing (iron nail) and creating a closed circuit is an example of a simple electromagnet.
  • Benjamin Franklin, Michael Faraday, and Thomas Edison made important discoveries in electricity.