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Subject: Physics (PHYFS01)

Department: Foundation in Science
Institution: Melaka Manipal Medical College (MMMC)
Lecturer: Ms. Siti Harnani Bt Radhuan Din
Electric current, I
• Consider a simple closed circuit consists
of wires, a battery and a light bulb as
From the Figure,
– Direction of electric field or electric current :
Positive to negative terminal
– Direction of electron flows :
Negative to positive terminal
– The electron accelerates because of the electric force acted
on it.
is defined as the total (nett) charge, Q flowing through the area per
unit time, t.

• It is a base and scalar quantities.
• The S.I. unit of the electric current is the ampere (A).
• Its dimension is given by

I   A
• 1 ampere of current is defined as one coulomb of charge passing
through the surface area in one second.
1 coulomb
1 ampere   1 C s 1
Note: 1 second

If the charge move around a circuit in the same direction

at all times, the current is called direct current (dc), which is
produced by the battery.
Current density, J
• is defined as the current flowing through
a conductor per unit cross-sectional

where I : electric current

A : cross - sectional area of the conductor
• It is a vector quantity.
• Its unit is ampere per squared metre (A m2)
• The direction of current density, J always in the same
direction of the current I.
Electrical conduction
in metal
• In metal the charge carrier is free
electrons and a lot of free electrons are
available in it.

• They move freely and randomly

throughout the crystal lattice structure of
the metal but frequently interact with the
• When the electric field is applied to the metal, the
freely moving electron experience an electric force
and tend to drift with constant average velocity (called
drift velocity) towards a direction opposite to the
direction of the field as shown
The magnitude of the
drift velocity is much
smaller than the
random velocities of
the free electron.

Then the electric current is flowing in the

opposite direction of the electron flows.
Drift velocity
of charges, vd
• Consider a metal rod of length, L and cross-sectional
area, A, which is applied to the electric field as shown.

Suppose there are n free electrons (charge carrier) per

unit volume in the metal rod, thus the number of free
electron, N is given by
• The total charge Q of the free electrons that pass through
the area A along the rod is

• The time required for the electron moving along the rod is
Q d
• Since I  then the drift velocity is given by

Density of the
free electron
Resistance, R
Resistivity, 

• is defined as the resistance of a unit cross-sectional area per unit

length of the material.


• It is a scalar quantity and its unit is ohm meter ( m)

• It is a measure of a material’s ability to oppose the flow of an
electric current.
• It also known as specific resistance.
• Resistivity depends on the type of the material and on the
• A good electric conductors have a very low resistivity and good
insulators have very high resistivity.
Ohm’s law
States that the potential difference across
a metallic conductor is proportional to
the current flowing through it if its
temperature is constant.

V  IR
Ohm’s law also can be stated in term of electric field E and current
density J.
– Consider a uniform conductor of length l and cross-sectional area
A as shown l

A potential difference, V is maintained across the conductor sets
up by an electric field, E and this field produce a current, I that is
proportional to the potential difference.
If the field is assumed to be uniform, the potential difference, V
is related to the field through the relationship below :
A copper wire carries a current of 10.0 A. The cross section of the wire
is a square of side 2.0 mm and its length is 50 m. The density of the
free electron in the wire is 8.0  1028 m3. Determine

a. the current density,

b. the drift velocity of the electrons,
c. the electric field intensity between both end of the wire,
d. the potential difference across the wire,
e. the resistance of the wire.

(Given the resistivity of copper is 1.68  108  m and charge of

electron, e = 1.60  1019 C)
Emf,  and
potential difference, V

• Consider a circuit consisting of a battery

(cell) that is connected by wires to an
external resistor R as shown.
• A current I flows from the terminal A to the terminal

• For the current to flow continuously from terminal

A to B, a source of electromotive force (e.m.f.),  is
required such as battery to maintained the
potential difference between point A and point B.

• Electromotive force (emf), is defined as the

energy provided by the source (battery/cell) to
each unit charge that flows through the
external and internal resistances.
• Terminal potential difference (voltage), V is defined as
the work done in bringing a unit (test) charge from
the negative to the positive terminals of the battery
through the external resistance only.

• The unit for both e.m.f. and potential difference are

volt (V).

• When the current I flows naturally from the battery

there is an internal drop in potential difference
(voltage) equal to Ir. Thus the terminal potential
difference (voltage), V is given by:
V  ε  Ir
then and V  IR
ε  I R  r 
where ε : e.m.f.
V : terminal potential difference (voltage)
Ir : internal drop in potential difference OR Vr
R : total external resistance
r : internal resistance of a cell (battery)
Example 4 :
A battery has an emf of 9.0 V and an internal resistance of 6.0 .
a. the potential difference across its terminals when it is supplying a
current of 0.50 A,
b. the maximum current which the battery could supply.
Solution :
a. Given
By applying the expression for emf, thus
ε  V  Ir
9.0  V  0.50 6.0
V  6.0 V
b. The current is maximum when the total external resistance, R =0,

ε  I R  r 

9.0  I max 0  6.0

I max  1.5 A
Power, P
• is defined as the energy liberated per unit time in the electrical
• The electrical power P supplied to the electrical device is given by

P  IV
P 
t t
• When the electric current flows through wire or passive resistor, hence
the potential difference across it is

V  IR
then the electrical power can be written as

PI R 2 OR
• It is a scalar quantity and its unit is watts (W).
A 720 W heater operates from a 120 V line.
a) Its resistance
b) The current that it draws
c) The power of the heater if the line voltage
drops to 110 V.
a) V2 b)
P V
R I 
(120V ) 2 R
720W 120V
I 
 20 20
I  6A
c) V2
(110V ) 2
P  605W
Resistors in series
• The symbol of resistor in an electrical
circuit can be shown

Consider three resistors are connected

in series to the battery as shown
Characteristics of
resistors in series

• The same current I flows through each resistor where

I  I1  I 2  I 3
• Assuming that the connecting wires have no resistance, the
total potential difference, V is given by
V  V1  V2  V3

• From the definition of resistance, thus

V1  IR1 ;V2  IR2 ;V3  IR3 ;V  IReff

Substituting for V1, V2 , V3 and V in the eq. gives

IReff  IR1  IR2  IR3

where Reff : effective (equivalen t) resistance Reff  R1  R2  R3

Resistors in parallel
• Consider three resistors are connected in parallel to the battery
as shown.

I3 R3 I3
V3 I1 I2
I2 R2 V1 V3
V2 R2
V2 R3
V R1
I1 R1

Characteristics of
resistors in parallel
• There same potential difference, V across each resistor
V  V1  V2  V3
• The charge is conserved, therefore the total current I in the
circuit is given by
I  I1  I 2  I 3
• From the definition of resistance, thus
I1  ; I 2  ; I 3  ; I 
R1 R2 R3 Reff
Substituting for I1, I2 , I3 and I in the eq. gives

V V V V 1 1 1 1
     
Reff R1 R2 R3 Reff R1 R2 R3
Example 6 :

4.0  12 

2.0 

8.0 V

Figure 6
For the circuit in Figure 6, calculate
a. the effective resistance of the circuit,
b. the current passes through the 12  resistor,
c. the potential difference across 4.0  resistor,
d. the power delivered by the battery.
The internal resistance of the battery may be ignored.
Solution : R1  4.0 ; R2  12 ; R3  2.0 ;V  8.0 V
R1 R2 R12

R3 R3


The resistors R1 and R2 are in series, thus R12 is

R12  R1  R2 R12  4.0  12
R12  16 
Since R12 and R3 are in parallel, therefore Reff is given by
1 1 1 1 1 1
   
Reff R12 R3 Reff 16 2
Reff  1.78 
Solution : R  4.0 ; R  12 ; R  2.0 ;V  8.0 V
1 2 3
b. Since R12 and R3 are in parallel, thus
V12  V3  V  8.0 V
Therefore the current passes through R2 is given by
V12 8.0
I2  I2 
R12 16
I 2  0.50 A
c. Since R1 and R2 are in series, thus
I1  I 2  0.50 A
Hence the potential difference across R1 is
V1  I1 R1 V1  0.50 4.0
V1  2.0 V
d. The power delivered by the battery is


Reff 1.78
P  36.0 W
Thank You