Week 2 ~ Building a Circuit

I knew that I would not absorb any of the technical terms regarding electricity and circuitry until I made a circuit from scratch. Here is a video of it:

There are three main properties of an electrical circiuit:

  • current
  • voltage
  • resistance

Current is the measurement of the magnitude of energy flowing through a circuit. It is comparable to rocks rolling down a hill. The more rocks there are the more energy there is that is being carried down the hill. Current is measured in Amps.

Voltage is the measurement of the difference in energy between two points. It is comparable to the height of said hill. The higher the hill the more energy the rocks will have gained when they reach the bottom. Voltage is measured in Volts.

Resistance is the measurement of a components ability to oppose the flow of enery in a circuit. Comparable to bushes on a hill that would slow down the flow of rolling rocks. Resistance is measured in Ohms.

In a circuit there always needs to be a complete path between the power source (top of the hill) and the end of the circuit, also known as the ground. If there path is broken the energy will revert back to the power source and things will explode…also known as a short circuit.

Some terms to remember:

Potentiometer: I still don’t know what this does really.

Diode: A common example of a diode is the light emitting diode, also known as an LED. Diodes only let energy flow through them in one direction, starting with the anode (the longer leg of the LED) which connects to power and ending with the cathode (the shorter leg) which connects to ground.

Transitor: Something about a device which can start or stop of the flow of energy in a circuit. Where could a transitor go in my basic circuit above? What would its purpose be?

Some formulas to remember:

Volts = Amps x Ohms

Watts = Volts * Amps

Here is a detail of a basic circuit:


Some questions I have:

  • is a switch also one-directional…like a diode?
  • half of the switch is sitting in the terminal switch on the right. what is happening there? does the current flow through the switch clockwise and then out to orange wire?
  • could i place the anode of the LED at the bottom of the switch and remove the orange wire that is connecting the switch to the diode all together?

Here is a detail of a parallel circuit:


Here is a detail of a series circuit:


Here is my basic circuit interacting with the world:

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