Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Week 2 Post 2-3

Post 2 and 3
a.     Which labs, activities and/or videos have you completed? 

      I have completed the first PHET simulation on constructing parallel circuits.

b.     What did you learn and what questions do you still need to ask?

      While constructing the parallel and series circuits, I was able to learn a number of things, as well as solidify knowledge attained from the videos.
The first piece of information, which I learned, was the importance of resistors. Prior to completing the simulation, I understood what a resistor was, what it was used for, and how it worked. However, I did not know why it was important. I did not know why the electrons passing through the wire needed to be slowed down and what effect not having resistors would have on the overall circuit. I learned that slowing down the electrons passing through the wire is essential because it controls the flow of electrons. If too many electrons are travelling, too fast, then that can have serious negative effects on the battery. For example this overload in electrons can cause for instability and ultimately cause for the battery to explode or catch fire.
      Another piece of information that I learned from this simulation was that the electrical flow in parallel and series circuits is a bit different. The current seemed to be flowing a lot faster in the parallel circuit. Also, the voltage was the same on each tier. In addition, the voltage was higher in the parallel circuits and the bulbs were brighter than in the series circuit. This happened despite the fact that both circuits used two batteries with the same 18V combined output.

      I think that this can be explained by the fact that there is more resistance in the series circuit, but I am unsure? 

c.     How will what you learn help you to complete the projects for this unit?

This will be very useful further along because it helps us understand relationships between the two types of circuits, as well as their similarities and differences. I think simulations such as this one will lay down a solid foundation for much more complicated and advanced work that we will complete in the following weeks. We are still focusing on basic concepts and relationships. These concepts will help our understanding of the more complicated ones since you need to understand these to move on and have any sense of the more complicated aspects of electrical engineering.

d.     What do you plan to do next and when do you think you will complete your next step? 
      I plan to finish the lab report for this and have it done by the end of the week. I also plan to begin work on the next simulation and watch some more videos (if I have the time to do so).

Would a post such as this one be sufficient if I am to do 2 posts a week?

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely, Bobby. This post has more detail and information in it than most students have in 3 posts, so keep at it. One suggestion (requirement?) is the part where you share your plan for the week, or for the time in between journal entries. Make sure you are very specific about what you are doing at school each day and what you are doing at home each day (you might want to spread the "homework" part of it out over 4 or 5 days instead of just doing it on class days). Cool?