Question Video: Calculating the Electric Current in a Wire | Nagwa Question Video: Calculating the Electric Current in a Wire | Nagwa

Question Video: Calculating the Electric Current in a Wire Science • Third Year of Preparatory School

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A charge of 10 coulombs flows through a circuit in a time of five seconds. What is the current in the circuit?

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Video Transcript

A charge of 10 coulombs flows through a circuit in a time of five seconds. What is the current in the circuit?

In this question, we’ve been asked to find the current in an electric circuit. Let’s begin by recalling that electric current is the flow of electric charge and that current is measured in units of amperes. Specifically, the electric current in a circuit measures how much charge flows past a point in the circuit in one second. To calculate current, represented by capital 𝐼, we use the formula 𝐼 equals 𝑄 divided by 𝑡, where 𝑄 is the amount of charge that flows by over some time 𝑡. Here, we’ve been told that over five seconds, a charge of 10 coulombs flows through the circuit. Therefore, we have that the charge 𝑄 equals 10 coulombs and the time 𝑡 equals five seconds.

Since we have values for 𝑄 and 𝑡, let’s go ahead and substitute them into the formula for current. We have 𝐼 equals 𝑄 divided by 𝑡 or 𝐼 equals 10 coulombs divided by five seconds. But before we move on, let’s think about the units here. It’s important to remember that current is measured in amperes and that one ampere is equal to one coulomb divided by one second.

Now, looking back at the units in our equation, we see coulombs divided by seconds, which is the same thing as amperes. This is a good sign since after all, we’re working to find a current value and current is measured in units of amperes. Now, getting back to the math, we have 10 divided by five, which is equal to two. And we’re working in units of amperes, so we know that the current 𝐼 equals two amperes. Therefore, we have found that the current in the circuit is two amperes.

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