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Where and how do I start learning about electricity?

  1. Aug 19, 2014 #1
    Hello, thank you for taking the time to read this. I am so uneducated that I do not know how to even begin to explain what I am even uneducated in so, I'll just attempt to explain.

    I am fascinated with electricity and the endless things we can do with it, I am more specifically interested in Nikola Tesla's work. I am fairly young(15 years of age), and I do not know where to begin learning about electricity. I would eventually like to understand how and why Tesla's ideas worked. But first I must learn the basics. I am completely in the dark about how to start learning about electricity. I'd like to begin with having complete understanding of how electricity is made, not just the process, but WHY the process works. I want to know the laws, the theories, the conditions, the materials used, and anything else relevant to the basic making of electricity. I believe if I can learn the 'ins' and the 'outs' of that, I'll be able to take my research further because I will have my feet wet.

    So, to wrap this up, I am looking for reliable websites and/or sources that I may learn basic 'electricity things(I do not know a better way of putting that)', or some tips and ideas of where else to start from someone who is obviously far more educated in this field.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 19, 2014 #2

    vk6kro

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    If you have a good Internet connection, you could try watching videos on YouTube.

    www.youtube.com

    Just search for "electricity introduction" or similar.

    A lot of these videos are made by experienced teachers and you can choose one that presents the material at your level.
     
  4. Aug 19, 2014 #3
    Thank you vk6kro, I was never very good at phrasing things when searching the web, that sounds like it should do the trick.
     
  5. Aug 20, 2014 #4

    analogdesign

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    If you want to know WHY the process really works, you're in for a lifetime of study. You're embarking on a fascinating journey.... I still can't believe electricity and semiconductors work!
     
  6. Aug 20, 2014 #5

    Bobbywhy

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    TheSatirist,

    This tutorial is a brief introduction to the concepts of charge, voltage, and current. This tutorial is not as long and tedious as a college textbook, yet it contains more information than students are likely to find in an elementary schoolbook.
    http://www.swansontec.com/set.html

    I first learned electronics in U. S. Navy schools, so I am a little biased. If anyone is serious about learning electricity and electronics, this free downloadable book is the best choice possible!

    “Here is the "Electricity - Basic Navy Training Courses" (NAVPERS 10622) in its entirety. It should provide one of the Internet's best resources for people seeking a basic electricity course - complete with examples worked out (links to quizzes at end of chapters).

    Electricity - Basic Navy Training Courses
    NAVPERS 10622
    PREFACE
    This book is intended as a basic reference for all enlisted men of the Navy whose duties require them to have a knowledge of the fundamentals of electricity.”
    http://www.rfcafe.com/references/electrical/Electricity%20-%20Basic%20Navy%20Training%20Courses/electricity%20-%20basic%20navy%20training%20courses.htm [Broken]

    I wish you good luck along your path to more knowledge.
    Bobbywhy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  7. Aug 20, 2014 #6

    If it's the foundational understanding you're looking to start with (which is a good thing since most people want to learn how to design a computer in a few hours with no prior electrical knowledge) I would advise you to begin with some physics. At 15 I don't know that you'll be able to follow the mathematics (though, you might, I don't know) but you can certainly get the concepts without having to concern yourself with tedious derivations. If electric generation and Tesla are areas of interest, pay special attention to the relation of electricity and magnetism (search Maxwell if you're feeling brave one day); this is crucial, basic understanding to have for generation.

    I'll give you the very foundational idea: electricity, current, is the flow of charge. Charges are fundamental "particles" called electrons. Electrons are the tiny particles that whirl around the nucleus of an atom in a thing called the "electron cloud". When electrons flow, you get current; hence, electricity. This is very basic, and, if you stick with it, you'll learn that there are a lot of different permutations that would only serve to confuse you were I to try and explain them now.

    At any rate...start with basic physics. Look for MIT electricity and magnetism on youtube, assuming you have adequate internet connection, prof. Lewin has a knack for explanation. Like I said, right now you don't "need" to know calculus or differential equations to "get" electricity; but, eventually, should you choose to pursue a career in engineering, you will need to learn those things. If you stick with it, by the time you get in your engineering classes you'll be light-years ahead of your fellow classmates. When I started in my EE program, I didn't even know the difference in voltage and current. It was almost sad.

    Oh, oh, and, one more thing, something you seem to have already figured out, COME TO PHYSICS FORUM. There will be someone that can answer pretty much any question you have.

    website:
    "MIT electricity and magnetism"
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  8. Aug 20, 2014 #7

    jim hardy

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    2016 Award

  9. Aug 20, 2014 #8

    analogdesign

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    WOW! Those links are awesome! Thank you. Especially the Navy course.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  10. Aug 20, 2014 #9

    sophiecentaur

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    I suggest that Tesla's work is not the best way into learning about modern electronics. Although he had some successes (as his non technical followers will always tell you), there was a lot of very speculative and unfounded stuff publicised by him (including a number of patents that have never been made to work).
    If you are interested in him and his as a piece of history then go ahead - but after getting a better grounding from more conventional sources. What you learn from him could well put your learning back by several decades.
     
  11. Aug 20, 2014 #10

    jim hardy

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    Tesla seems to have got obsessed with the idea of resonance and went a little bonkers.

    Read about his life but be aware there is no conspiracy to hide his inventions.
    You might also enjoy reading a biography of his contemporary Steinmetz who was equally influential in electrifying America and didn't go off the deep end. "Modern Jupiter" is a good one

    Both those guys were the first ones figuring out practical electricity and magnetism so their writings are not easy to understand - educators have over the last 125 years developed logical ways of presenting the science. You'll find old books interesting to appreciate how those guys struggled with the unknown
    but i think you'll progress faster if you stick to nuts&bolts stuff that's written to instruct not to present 1880's research ..

    If you see an old RCA Receiving Tube Manual --- grab it.

    old jim
     
  12. Aug 20, 2014 #11

    sophiecentaur

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    You could probably build an interossiter from that!!! lol
     
  13. Aug 20, 2014 #12

    jim hardy

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    Interesting thought. We shoulda put a copy in Voyager with the Chuck Berry record.

    golden_rec_sidebar.gif
     
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