The Coulomb Train Model (CTM) is a helpful model for both explaining and predicting the behaviour of real electric circuits which I think is suitable for use with KS3 and KS4 students (that’s 11-16 year olds for non-UK educators).
I have written about it before (see here and here) but I have recently been experimenting with animated versions of the original diagrams. You can read Part 1 where using the CTM to model current flow is explained here, but to summarise:
Modelling potential difference using the CTM
Potential difference is the ‘push’ needed to make electric charge move around a closed circuit. On the CTM, we can represent the ‘push’ as a gain in the energy of the coulomb. (This is consistent with the actual definition of the volt V = E/Q, where one volt is a change in energy of one joule per coulomb.)
How can we…
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