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How to work with Required Practicals: Part 3

Before you settle down to revise the physics Required Practicals, including those about electricity, check out some of these fascinating facts about electricity.

Thales of Miletus,  a Greek philosopher, noticed electrical forces as early as around 600 B.C. after  he rubbed some amber with fur. Then he noticed that the amber picked up pieces of feather, and straw – a classic example of static electricity. Greeks, Romans and Egyptians actually used electric fish and rays to treat various conditions, such as headaches, and even childbirth! This is because the electric shocks from the rays numbs pain. A number of modern words, such as narcotic, have even been derived from Nárkē (a genus of electric rays).

Amazingly, it took nearly another 2000 years until any more progress was made in understanding electricity. William Gilbert, who was a doctor of Queen Elizabeth I, started to investigate it around 1600. Actually, Gilbert used the term “electricus” from Latin, which means like amber, alluding to the work of Thales. Gilbert also believed a fluid called effluvium moving around caused electricity. Importantly, this was the first insight into electricity actually  flowing or current as we know it today.

But back to the animals!  Rays may have been used as electro-therapy – but they are not the only animals producing electricity. The electric eel is capable of generating up to 800 volts of electricity! Whereas bumble bees move their wings so quickly when they are collecting pollen, they create an electric field around the flower. This is a message to other bees that the pollen has all gone!

Try our new guide “How to work with Required Practicals: Part 3”. It focuses on the Physics practicals needed for Paper 1 (AQA).

It includes:

 Specific Heat Capacity, Resistance  (factors affecting resistance), Resistance (in series and parallel circuits), I-V Characteristics and Calculating Density.

You will find a brief description of what you need to know about each practical, and key questions you may be asked. As always there are questions to try, and answers to check your understanding.
Click below to see the guide.
Required Practicals 3
Come back and check our blog page for more resources to help you improve your understanding of different topics in various subjects.  New Maths and Science guides will be coming soon.

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