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Electricity and magnetism

In this section you will learn about the big ideas of Electricity and Magnetism:

  • What is an electric field? What is its effect on charges?
  • What is the electric force affected by?
  • When charges move around a circuit, what can this be used for?
  • What do terms like 'current', 'voltage', 'resistance' and 'power' really mean?
  • What is a magnet made of?
  • How do circuits and charges interact with magnets?


  • Electric fields

    Electric force can not be explained without introducing a new quantity charge. You might think that this should be a fundamental quantity but it isn't, the fundamental unit of electricity is current. As with gravitational fields, field lines are used to

  • Electric circuits

    It´s all about the simple circuit and the physical quantities that are used to describe it. Complex circuits can often be broken down into simple components.

  • Magnetic fields

    Why is the North pole actually a South? Why do we define magnetic field in terms of rotation not acceleration? What is the connection between magnetic fields and electric current? Why don't magnetic waves exist without electric waves?

  • AHL Electric fields

    In an electrical circuit, electrons move due to potential difference. Electric fields caused by charged plates, point charges or charged spheres cause lone charges to accelerate. This changes their energy.

  • AHL EM induction

    Electromagnetic induction is the process by which kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy in the presence of a magnetic field.