What Are the Key Concepts to Learn in Electrical Theory?

Electricity is a naturally existing force that surrounds us. Electrical theory is applied in complex electronics, microprocessor based controls and data communication technology for residential, commercial and industrial uses. Learn more about the key concepts of electricity here. Schools offering Appliance Repair degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Electricity

Electricity was discovered 2,500 years ago by the Greeks. They found that amber, when rubbed together with other materials, became charged with an unidentified force that magnetized certain items. The Greeks originally called amber 'electron,' from which we derived the word 'electric.' Formal training is important for the proper application of electricity, and many individuals complete apprenticeship training or choose to pursue a related degree.

Important Facts About This Area of Study

Degree Levels Associate's and bachelor's degrees
Degree Fields Electrical engineering, electrical engineering technology
Online Availability Fully online programs are available
Possible Careers Electrical or electronics engineering technician or technologist, electrical or electronics engineer
Median Salary (2018)$64,330 (Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians)
$99,070 (Electrical and Electronics Engineers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)2% (Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technicians)
7% (Electrical and Electronics Engineers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Key Concepts in Electrical Theory

To comprehend electrical theory, you'll have to grasp some basic concepts. The following concepts are foundational to electrical theory:

  • Electrons: Electrons are subatomic particles that have a negative charge. Electricity is produced when electrons pass through a conductor.
  • Charge: An atom can carry either a positive or negative charge. In this condition, it is referred to as either a charged particle or ion. The atom's charge is what determines its interaction with other atoms; like charges repel, unlike charges attract. Positive charges occur when an atom has more protons than electrons, whereas a negative charge is the result of more electrons than protons.
  • Current: Current is the flow of electric charge, which consists of either electrons or ions. There are two types of electric current, including direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC). Current is measured in amps.
  • Voltage: Voltage is the potential between two points that that makes electrons move between them. Voltage is measured in volts.
  • Resistance: Resistance is the electrical opposition to the flow of current. Resistance is measured in ohms.
  • Electrical Circuit: An electrical circuit is the path of current. Examples of an electrical circuit include modern appliances and the path of current between clouds and the ground during an electrical storm.
  • Ohm's Law: Ohm's Law is a mathematical expression of how current, voltage and resistance exist in proportion among each other in an electrical circuit. Ohm's Law dictates that voltage can be calculated by multiplying the amount of current by the amount of resistance.

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