Chapter 2

Understanding Electricity

IN THIS CHAPTER

check Unraveling the deep mysteries of the matter and energy (well, only a little bit)

check Learning about three important aspects of electric circuits: current, voltage, and power

check Looking at the difference between direct and alternating current

check Learning your first electrical equation (don’t worry; it’s simple)

Frankly, the title of this chapter is a bit ambitious. Before you can do much that’s very interesting with electronics, you need to have a basic understanding of what electricity is and how it works, but unfortunately, understanding electricity is a tall order. Don’t let this discourage or dissuade you: Even the smartest physicists in the world don’t really understand it.

At the start of this chapter, you examine the very nature of electricity: what it is and what causes it. This first part of the chapter will remind you of a seventh- or eighth-grade science class, as you delve into the insides of atoms and learn about protons, neutrons, and electrons.

The second part of this chapter introduces you to three things you have to know ...

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