Electrical Circuit
Electricity and Magnetism

Whole loops

Teaching Guidance for 14-16 Supporting Physics Teaching

Whole electrical loops and energy stores

This episode takes us beyond ideas of charge and current by focusing on energy in simple electrical loops, with a special focus on the rate at which energy is shifted.

We extend the stores and pathways approach developed in the SPT: Energy topic as we know this provides a consistent framework for qualitative and semi-quantitative descriptions.

Existing approaches to teaching about energy typically involve lots of different kinds of energy: heat energy, electrical energy, light energy, sound energy and so on. This is rather different from the approach taken in the SPT: Energy topic, where energy is looked for in different kinds of stores: chemical stores, thermal stores, kinetic stores and so on. Here we think carefully about what is happening in simple electrical loops in terms of this approach to thinking about energy.

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