|Topics||Capacitors, Direct Current (DC), Semiconductors, Thermocouples, Transformers|
Capacitors store electricity and are used in circuits as temporary batteries. Capacitors are charged by DC current (AC current passes through a capacitor) and that stored charge can later be dissipated into the circuit as needed. Capacitors are often used to maintain power within a system when it is disconnected from its primary power source or to smooth out or filter voltage within a circuit.
Direct current flows in only one direction in a circuit, from the negative terminal of the voltage source to the positive. A common source of direct current (DC) is a battery.
Semiconductors have valence shells that are exacly half full and can conduct electricity under some conditions but not others. This property makes them useful for the control of electrical current.
A thermocouple is a temperature sensor that consists of two wires made from different conductors. The junction of these two wires produces a voltage based on the temperature difference between them.
A transformer utilizes an inductor to increase or decrease the voltage in a circuit. AC flowing in a coil wrapped around an iron core magnetizes the core causing it to produce a magnetic field. This magnetic field generates a voltage in a nearby coil of wire and, depending on the number of turns in the wire of the primary (source) and secondary coils and their proximity, voltage is induced in the secondary coil.