Matter & Energy


Matter is composed of atoms or groups of atoms called molecules. The arrangement of particles in a material depends on the physical state of the substance. In a solid, particles form a compact structure that resists flow. Particles in a liquid have more energy than those in a solid. They can flow past one another, but they remain close. Particles in a gas have the most energy. They move rapidly and are separated from one another by relatively large distances.

Amperage and Voltage

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The strength, or amperage, of an alternating current varies continuously between zero and a maximum. Since it is inconvenient to take into account a whole range of amperage values, scientists simply deal with the effective amperage. Like a direct current, an alternating current produces heat as it passes through a conductor. The effective amperage of an alternating current is equal to the amperage of a direct current that produces heat at the same rate. In other words, 1 effective amp of alternating current through a conductor produces heat at the same rate as 1 amp of direct current flowing through the same conductor. Similarly, the voltage of an alternating current is considered in terms of the effective voltage.