Incredibly stupid question.

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by mr_otto, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. mr_otto

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 21, 2015
    This will probably sound really stupid coming from a complete idiot (me). But, I cannot for the life of me understand the basic concepts of Current (including Amps, Coulombs, I don't know the difference), Voltage, and Resistance. It's something about visualizing these that I have a really hard time grasping. I really need a laymans explanation as I'm looking at 3 different textbooks and have been googling for days with no avail.

    The amount of current is the sum of the charges of the moving electrons past a given point.
    An electron has a very small charge, so the charge of 6.24 X 10 to the 18th power electrons is added together and called a coulomb (C). When 1 coulomb of charge moves past a single point in 1 second, it is called an ampere (A).

    This is one quote i'd really like to tackle, what are charges? does this mean that current can be "thick" or "thin"? does it mean that everything that is matter has variable amounts of coulombs but there isn't any amps or current measured without external force(voltage being the one listed in the book)? If this is the case, is there current when I apply physical force by throwing an object like an apple? I honestly need a 4th grade explanation of this.
  2. MaxHeadRoom


    Jul 18, 2013
    Go look up the old water pressure - flow analogies for voltage & current for starters, then progress once you have that concept down.
  3. bushrat


    Nov 29, 2014
  4. LDC3

    Active Member

    Apr 27, 2013
    Charge is a property of an object; just like color (copper sulfate is always blue). An electron has 1 negative charge and a proton has 1 positive charge. (I'll ignore the anti-matter until you want to delve into quantum physics.) Atoms are a group of protons, neutrons and electrons. If the amount of protons outnumber the amount of electrons, you have a positive ion. If the amount of electrons outnumber the amount of protons, you have a negative ion.

    Can the current be think or thin? Only in the sense that a low current in a large space (thick wire), can spread out across the wire (cross-section). This is referred to as current density.

    Since everything is made up of atoms, any object can have an unbalance number of electrons and protons, which causes a static charge. Since the charge is not moving, there is no current. Yes, you would cause a current if you take a balloon (after rubbing it in your hair) and move it across the room. The electromotive force is actually you moving the balloon, not an electric potential.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2015
  5. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
  6. Nykolas


    Aug 27, 2013
    Maybe that explains it to a novice. E
    #12, Fuji, Sinus23 and 2 others like this.