Computer Forums Can't understand the concept of electricity for the life of me

 09-11-2013, 12:08 PM #1 Beta Member   Join Date: Sep 2013 Location: intuition Posts: 2 Can't understand the concept of electricity for the life of me I'm trying to simulate this in my head in order to understand this, but somehow I'm thrown into a loop. I'm writing an IT study guide down, and gathering all sorts of data related to the subject. Attempting to sum up what I wrote down about electricity: Power: rate of energy/electricity transferral. Energy: rate/speed of an electric charge Voltage: difference between two points. Are these points ambiguous charges? Charge: Isn't this when electricity is activated? Electron: Electrons are subatomic, or particles smaller than an atom (the defining structure of an element, can't be broken down by any chemicals), it is a particle with a negative charge. (Don't even understand what electrons, atoms, or the basic definition of subatomic means. Circuit: Directs the flow of current? Amps/amperage: Tried reading online definitions, (like the wiki) but it's too advanced for me to grasp. Apparently this is how the strength of current is determined, which is all I know. Current: Flow of energy? Capacitor: Unit where energy is stored electrostatically in an electrical field? What are the basic summaries of an electrical field and electrostatics? Resistance: Opposition towards..? I might add more later, but for now I am speculating and trying to fine-tune these definitions to implement into my study guide. I'm trying to achieve compTIA A+ certification by the end of this year, and I need to understand much of this in order to have a well-rounded understanding. (Yes, for the record, I am attending a technical school class dedicated to IT/networking) __________________ __________________
09-11-2013, 05:24 PM   #2
..m.0,0.m..
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Re: Can't understand the concept of electricity for the life of me

First off, studying for a CompTIA test and creating an IT Guide are a little different. Add on too that "IT Guide" is extremely ambiguous... there are many many areas within IT and fields of study... just throwing that out there

Circuit: An electrical loop. Current can go in a 'circuit' over media such as copper (as on a motherboard).
Amps/amperage: Think of amps as the amount of electricity passing through at once, or 'all at the same time, in a measured space'. You can get hit by lightning because the current isn't 'thick' enough to kill you. Liken it to bandwidth. The higher the bandwidth, the more data travels at a time.
Current: Flow of energy? - pretty much
Capacitor: Stores energy basically... You'd have to google how it works.
Resistance: Correct. Using the same analogy of bandwidth, liken a resistor (or resistance) as a network 'bottleneck'. Everything has to slow down because the available bandwidth (or pipe) is now smaller.

Quote:
 Originally Posted by pushit I might add more later, but for now I am speculating and trying to fine-tune these definitions to implement into my study guide. I'm trying to achieve compTIA A+ certification by the end of this year, and I need to understand much of this in order to have a well-rounded understanding.
Good luck
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 09-11-2013, 08:03 PM #3 Fully Optimized     Join Date: Mar 2011 Location: USA Posts: 2,097 Re: Can't understand the concept of electricity for the life of me For the most part electricity is similar to water flow and plumbing. The smaller the pipe, the less water can flow, hence resistance. Water pressure is similar to voltage, water flow similar to current. A plumbing system is similar to a circuit and a water bucket is similar to a capacitor. __________________
 09-12-2013, 06:13 AM #4 Daemon Poster   Join Date: Feb 2012 Location: !! Posts: 699 Re: Can't understand the concept of electricity for the life of me Hope you lot are not playing with electricity! __________________
 09-12-2013, 01:28 PM #5 Wizard of Wires     Join Date: Feb 2005 Location: Not sure Posts: 10,030 Re: Can't understand the concept of electricity for the life of me pushit, You need to take a basic electrical course. __________________
09-12-2013, 05:40 PM   #6
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Re: Can't understand the concept of electricity for the life of me

Quote:
 Originally Posted by MMM Hope you lot are not playing with electricity!
I would hope no one would play with electricity as it can kill you if you're not careful. :-)

The water analogy I presented worked pretty well for me when I was studying electronics in college 35 years ago and I don't believe the principles of electricity have changed in that time. The analogy isn't perfect but it's close enough for someone to understand the basics of electricity as the OP was asking.
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09-18-2013, 12:49 PM   #7
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Re: Can't understand the concept of electricity for the life of me

Quote:
 Originally Posted by iPwn First off, studying for a CompTIA test and creating an IT Guide are a little different. Add on too that "IT Guide" is extremely ambiguous... there are many many areas within IT and fields of study... just throwing that out there Circuit: An electrical loop. Current can go in a 'circuit' over media such as copper (as on a motherboard). Amps/amperage: Think of amps as the amount of electricity passing through at once, or 'all at the same time, in a measured space'. You can get hit by lightning because the current isn't 'thick' enough to kill you. Liken it to bandwidth. The higher the bandwidth, the more data travels at a time. Current: Flow of energy? - pretty much Capacitor: Stores energy basically... You'd have to google how it works. Resistance: Correct. Using the same analogy of bandwidth, liken a resistor (or resistance) as a network 'bottleneck'. Everything has to slow down because the available bandwidth (or pipe) is now smaller. Good luck
Well yes, I am creating this guide to help me understand all of this information better, hopefully en route to receiving the certification! I find whenever I write something down or break it down/simplify it in my head by my own terms, it is easier for me to retain it.

As far as your interpretation - this is helping me get somewhere, although I do have other questions branching out due to uncertainty.
I'll break your interpretations down (sorry if I seem nitpicky

Circuit - a "loop" that holds all of the current together over a specific area?
Amp(s)/erage - a certain 'amount' of electricity determining the flow of current and electricity? If so, what is the difference between this, volts, and watts? These three all sound quite similar.
Resistance- a 'stop gap' when current overflows or other electrical problems arise? Apparently this also has to do with positive/negative charges as well, however I'm still having trouble grasping that as well.
Capacitor- So this apparently is temporary storage for charges and currents. Would this contain multiple circuits, or would the circuit end up containing multiple capacitors in the loop?
If energy is the rate and/or speed of an electric charge, this ultimately determines the current flow, right?
And obviously power is the driving force for all of this to transfer and manifest.
I still have no idea what an electron, atom, or what a subatomic particle is. I'm also having trouble understanding what a charge is, which might be among the most basic definitions in the vicinity of electricity. I try reading on the internet, but while reading, my over-intuitive brain needs more information, which leads to reading information that I don't understand. Therefore, I can't construct information into a basic understanding.

(I know, you guys are probably thinking "didn't this fuck learn stuff like this in school?". I didn't really pay attention, and I didn't attend public school...long ass story. )

Quote:
 Originally Posted by strollin For the most part electricity is similar to water flow and plumbing. The smaller the pipe, the less water can flow, hence resistance. Water pressure is similar to voltage, water flow similar to current. A plumbing system is similar to a circuit and a water bucket is similar to a capacitor.
This clears things up by a good margin - GREAT ANALOGY!

Quote:
 Originally Posted by MMM Hope you lot are not playing with electricity!
I am not. What subtle hints indicated the possibility that I could be in my post?

Quote:
 Originally Posted by setishock pushit, You need to take a basic electrical course.
IMO, I think if I put my mind to it, I can learn just as much reading random excerpts on the internet as I could through education. Unless you're suggesting that there are certain parts in the education process that are exclusive, like hands-on activities such as constructing a electrical breaker, or the like.
I unfortunately don't have access to any education centers that would offer such a course atm.

If anyone has any suggestions on books or websites that are aimed towards this concept, please insert in the thread! Thanks for all of the input.
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 09-19-2013, 05:47 AM #8 Daemon Poster   Join Date: Feb 2012 Location: !! Posts: 699 Re: Can't understand the concept of electricity for the life of me Try your technical book shops & look for electrical trade books on electrical principles, This will help you. __________________
 09-25-2013, 07:25 AM #9 Wizard of Wires     Join Date: Feb 2005 Location: Not sure Posts: 10,030 Re: Can't understand the concept of electricity for the life of me And remember kids. If you're going to stick a fork in a toaster, have the common sense to unplug it first. Or you'll get to find out what electricity can really do... __________________
09-26-2013, 03:30 AM   #10
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Re: Can't understand the concept of electricity for the life of me

Quote:
 Originally Posted by setishock And remember kids. If you're going to stick a fork in a toaster, have the common sense to unplug it first. Or you'll get to find out what electricity can really do...
My brother has done that before and thankfully he is alright. He did it with a knife and the power went out and the old man came out and freaked out..
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