Welcome to How Electronics Work Website
Electronics Simple Concepts
Flow of electrons in a circuit once was a scientific experiment. It started with lights in Edison's life and a mean for communication in Bell's experiment. Both ideas are still valid in modern life. Small low power consumption Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) and iPhones/Cell Phones are some examples.
We all own it to the amazing property of electrons and its freedom to move. Those attributes has a land mark to all of our daily lives. Music, TV, computers, cameras, business, ecommerce, telephones, airplanes, space shuttles, medical discoveries, nano matters, new material innovations, brain activity, and car sickness all have something to do with this little weightless energy we refer to as electron.
The scientists are trying to tell us how electrons orbit the atom, and how its character can be visualized. Whether or not it orbits in a circular motion or elliptical or a random vibration is not for me to discuss. They all claim that they have figured it out and still nobody can explain it solidly. Does it matter? I breathe oxygen and that allow me to survive and enjoy my pizza after a workout. As far as I am concerned, I love oxygen. No matter 8 electrons orbit the atoms in a circular or random fashion I still enjoy its simple colorless, smelliness existence. I probably stay away from lightening, that is another issue all together.
Let's picture in our mind a water reservoir tank mounted 100 feet above the ground. A rather large pipe carries the water down for usage. The higher the elevation of the tank, the more pressure at the bottom of the pipe. That can be thought of as voltage or potential difference. If we open the valve half way we notice certain amount of water flow. If we open it completely on, we notice more flow. That is analogues to current which is expressed in Amps. The larger the diameter of the pipe, the easier water will be carried through the pipe. One can say water experiences less resistance in a larger pipe. In an electronics circuit that corresponds to Resistance with unit of Ohm. There is a simple relationship between these three properties which is shown as: V = I * R
In a circuit if you know two of these parameters (Voltage = Current times Resistance ) you can calculate the third one easily. The second important formula with lots of application is P= V * I. It states that Power consumption in a circuit (For example in an electrical kettle) is equal to Voltage applied it it multiplied by Current passing through it. If you have a 480 Watts kettle connected to 120 Vac, you can calculate the amount of current is being drawn. In this case it would be 4 Amps ( 480 = 120 * I or I = 480 divided by 120). As you notice there are more into making teas than eyes can meat!
In a simple circuit loads behaves like a pure resistance as in an electrical heater or a light bulb. In a more complex circuit like in a fridge or juice blender, the compressor / motor introduces another property called back emf. That is because a motor once rotating acts like a power generator which fights back with the applied voltage.
On other pages I will add more information about various electronics related principles. Current flow and potential difference are discussed in the Basics page.
It is an exciting field, and I wish you all the best,
Last updated on: April 29, 2012
This website is aimed at beginners who want to get a basic idea about the world of electronics. Topics would be current, voltage, power, resistance, capacitance, etc. There is a blog section if you have any question.