Basic electronic components
Nowadays most of us cannot imagine life without the electronic
devices which surround us. They are everywhere, and often we even
forget about their existence: mobile phones, TV sets, mp3 players,
electronic watches or even alarm clocks. Most people do not reflect
on how and why these everyday appliances work. But being a geek
requires at least some basic technical knowledge about the
As you probably remember from early science lessons, the
electric current is an organized flow of electrons and ions in a
conductor. But to make those tiny particles move, there must be
some kind of force.
In electronics, this force is called an electromotive force or
EMF, which may be also described as voltage. For some, the
definition of voltage as the difference of potential in the
conductor may be a bit hard to imagine.
So to visualize this process, you may think of the difference in
the number of electrons in the conductor. If there are fewer
electrons in one part of a wire than another part, then there is a
difference of electrons between points A and B of the [electrical
Nature is organized in such a way that it aims at making this
potential equal in both points of the circuit. So to make it equal,
there is a need to move some of the electrons from one place to
another. Current is exactly what we call this movement.
Of course we need to take our voltage from some electric source.
One common source of power in smaller home appliances is batteries,
or voltaic cells. The energy stored in batteries comes from
chemical reactions that take place inside. But quite often we may
replace the batteries with another source of energy, such as a
solar cell, which may be found in simple calculators or
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