Physics is the attempt to explain patterns in nature, whether the object be the motion of the planets, the flow of traffic in a city, or the life of a bacterial cell. For the myriad and varied phenomena of nature, we seek simple rules that can account for the behavior. By using these rules to make falsifiable predictions, we can throw out incorrect rules, and keep those closest to the truth. Here we consider some of the earliest focuses of physics, the motion of charged matter.
The motion of charged matter underlies many things we enjoy like phones and plasma globes. It also puts a permanent end to the enjoyment of some 6,000 people per year, as fatal lightning strikes.
Electric fields describe the interaction of stationary charged matter. They underlie the working of diverse technology from atom smashers to the poor cell reception you're getting right now.
Electric flux connects the geometry of conductors to the fields they generate. Learn this powerful tool and shortcut your way to the electric field of symmetrical arrangements like wires and sheets.
Resistors dissipate energy in electric circuits, but their behavior is found time and again in diverse phenomena from the flux of biomass in bacterial cells to the flow of cars on city traffic grids.
Capacitors are devices that accumulate voltage in separated electric charges, but their mechanism and mathematics can describe thermal insulation and the discharge of lightning from cloud to ground.
Any circulating flow constitutes a circuit. Learn how to model the logic boards in your computer, the flow of nutrients in your blood, or the daily fluctuations in the temperature of your house.
Magnets have bewildered everyone from the Insane Clown Posse to Tim Allen. Stand apart from the madding crowd and set yourself straight on the fields of moving charges.
Magnetic fields are wondrous things, bound by geometric relationships to the moving currents that generate them. Learn these links and the things they govern, from transformers to electric motors.