Energy Transferred by Working
Electricity and Magnetism

Electrical generators - what do they do?

Teaching Guidance for 14-16 Supporting Physics Teaching

Electricity is not made by generators

Wrong Track: Electric generators make electricity.

Right Lines: Electrical generators make energy available using an electrical pathway. Electrical generators switch power to the electrical pathway.

The charge is already in the loop: the generator sets them in motion

Thinking about the learning

The idea that electric generators make electricity is quite a common one and portrays similar thinking to the idea that electric cells provide electricity. The image here is one of the generator or the cell acting as a store of something called electricity. In fact, the cell or generator provides a potential difference that sets the charge in motion, creating an electrical pathway.

Energy Transferred by Working
appears in the relation dU=dQ+dW
is used in analyses relating to Working Engines Thermionic Emission
is a special case of Work
has the special case Potential Energy Kinetic Energy
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