## Why does less current flow through a longer wire?

#### Why does less current flow through a longer wire?

Wires obey Ohm’s law: the current flowing through them is proportional to the voltage drop across them. But the precise relationship depends on the wire’s length. A short wire will carry a large current even when the voltage drop across it is small because that wire has a small electrical resistance; it does not impede the flow of electricity very much. But a long wire has a large electrical resistance and will only carry a large current if the voltage drop across it is large. If you do not change the source of electrical power (e.g. a battery) and replace short wires with long wires, those wires will not be able to carry as much current.

## How is AC converted in certain items to DC?

#### How is AC converted in certain items to DC?

These devices use diodes, which are one-way devices for current. They only allow the current to flow a certain direction and block its flow the other way. With the help of some charge storage devices called capacitors, these diodes can stop the reversals of AC and turn it into DC. Those little black battery eliminators that you use for household electronic devices contain a transformer, a few diodes and a capacitor or two.

A step-up transformer has a secondary coil with many, many turns. As the current in the primary circuit flows back and forth, it creates a reversing electric field around the iron core of the transformer. This electric field pushes charges through the secondary coil so that it travels around and around the core. Each charge goes around many times, picking up more energy with each passage. By the time the charge leaves the transformer, it has lots of energy so its voltage is very high.

## What is the difference, if any, between appliances with a 2 prong plug and a 3 p…

#### What is the difference, if any, between appliances with a 2 prong plug and a 3 prong plug?

In the 2 prong system, current travels to the appliance through one prong and leaves through the other prong. The roles of the two prongs interchange every 120th of a second. In the 3-prong system, there is one extra prong and that connects the frame of the appliance to the ground (the earth). This extra connection is a safety feature. If a wire comes loose inside the appliance and touches the frame, the frame can deliver charge and current to you through your hand and you can deliver it to the ground through your feet or your other hand. The earth is very large and a large amount of charge can flow into it without repelling further charge. Moreover most electrical systems are actually connected to the ground at some point. So if current can travel out of the circuit feeding power to the appliance and travel through you and into the ground, it will. You’ll get a shock. The ground connection (the extra prong) allows this extra current to flow to ground so easily that a huge current is drawn out of the power source, causing the fuse or circuit breaker in that power source to break the connection. When that power connection is broken, no power can flow to the appliance at all and you can’t get a shock from it. Plastic appliances often omit the extra prong because they have nothing dangerous to touch on their exteriors.