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SUBJECT: TECHNOLOGY

## BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF UNIT AND NUMBER OF SESSIONS:

Electricity is the main unit of 3rd ESO. The objective of the unit is that students know what
electricity is, its effects and its environmental impact. They should learn to mount and analyse
some basic circuits, both in the workshop and using some simulation program.

Students have never seen electricity before in secondary school. Due to the importance of
electricity nowadays, we think that the teacher should dedicate a whole term to this unit.

AIMS:

## – To introduce electricity to the students.

– To understand the difference between conductors and insulators.
– To identify the components of an electric circuit and its symbols.
– To acquire the concept of electrical current as well as the other electrical magnitudes.
– To measure electrical magnitudes with the help of a tester/multimeter
– To know the relationship between resistance and current.
– To distinguish the different types of electrical circuits
– To use electricity in a safe way
– To be conscious of the environmental impact of electricity
– To draw and analyse some circuits using a simulation program
– To mount some circuits in the workshop

## ASSESSMENT: IT’S BUILT INTO THE UNIT

Depending on the available time and resources in the workshop, the teacher will decide on the
number of exercises and practices to be done.
1. INTRODUCTION

Electricity completely surrounds us. For most of us, modern life would be impossible without it.
Here are just a few examples:
– Throughout your house, you probably have electrical outlets where you can plug in all sorts
of electrical appliances.
– Most portable devices contain batteries, which produce varying amounts of electricity
depending on their size.
– During a thunderstorm, there are huge bolts of electricity called lightning that shoot down
from the sky.
–It is easy to create electricity from sunlight using a solar cell; or you can create electricity
from the chemical energy in hydrogen and oxygen using a fuel cell.

## It is hard to imagine modern people living without electricity.

Matter is made up of atoms. Atoms contain particles called: protons, electrons and neutrons.
– Protons have a positive charge
– Electrons have a negative charge
– Neutrons have no charge
Electrons are a fundamental part of electricity. In many materials, electrons can move from one
atom to another. This movement of electrons is the origin of electricity, in fact the movement of
electrons is an electric current.
If the electrons don’t move, the material doesn’t conduct electricity and it is called an insulator.
Some materials which are electrical insulators are for example: wood, plastic, glass, pottery…
If the electrons can move through the material, it is an electrical conductor. For example, water
and metals such us gold, silver, copper, iron:
– Copper is used for connecting wires.
– Nichrome has more resistance and is used in the heating elements of electric fires.
Electrical circuits can be complex. But at the simplest level, you always have the source of
electricity (a battery, etc.), a device that uses it (a light bulb, motor, etc.), and two wires to carry
electricity between the battery and the load.
However, electricity can be very dangerous, too. Accidental contact with electrical currents can
cause injury, fire, extensive damage and even death. It is important to remember that working
with and around electricity requires your full attention and respect.
Most electricity comes from power stations that burn “fossil fuels” such as coal. The heat boils
water into steam, and the steam drives big turbines that generate electricity.
But there are big problems with this way of generating electricity. Burning fossil fuels is very bad
for the environment, as it creates pollution and affects the climate of the Earth. Fossil fuels are
also running out. We all need to cut down on the amount of electricity we use at the moment.
200 201

2. EFFECTS OF ELECTRICITY

Electricity is a strong invisible force that gives power to machinery, lights, heaters and many other
forms of equipment.
Moving electrons have energy. As the electrons move from one point to another, this energy can
provide:
– Heat: when the electrical current flows through a material, it heats.
Toasters, hair dryers and space heaters turn electricity into heat.
– Light: an electric current flowing through a material increases its temperature and produces light.
In an incandescent lamp, for example, the energy of the electrons is used to create heat,
and the heat in turn creates light.
Fluorescent lamps, LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes), etc. turn electricity into light.
– Movement:
Electric motors turn electricity into motion.
– Sound:
Speakers turn electricity into sound waves.
– Information:
Computers turn electricity into information.
Telephones turn electricity into communication.
TVs turn electricity into moving pictures.
Radios turn electricity into electromagnetic waves that can travel millions of miles.

3. ELECTRIC CIRCUITS

An electric circuit is an unbroken path along which an electric current exists or is able to flow.

## The basic components of a circuit are:

Conductors
These are the wires that connect the
different elements of the circuit which
allow the flow of electricity. The wires are
usually made of copper and covered with
plastic in order to isolate them.
Power supply
This is a device that causes energy to flow through the circuit. A battery, a generator or an
alternator are examples of power supplies. All of them transform a type of energy into electrical
energy.
Batteries are used in small devices. They transform chemical energy into electrical energy.
There are different kinds, for example:
– Normal batteries, which are the most
commonly used.
– Alkaline batteries, which last longer.
– Rechargeable batteries, which can be
recharged several times.
– Button batteries, which are smaller but
pollute the most.

All batteries contain toxic materials so they can not be thrown into the rubbish. There are
special containers for collecting and recycling used batteries.
Generators or alternators, which produce electrical energy in electrical power stations.

## Output devices: Appliances

These elements receive electrical energy and transform it into other types of useful energy
(light, heat, movement, sound, etc.). A bulb, a heater, a motor or a bell are some examples of
appliances.

## – Bulbs: they transform electrical energy into light.

– Motors: they transform electrical energy into
movement.
– Bells: they transform electrical energy into sound.
– Heaters: they transform electrical energy into heat.

Control elements
These elements are used to control circuits. You can
use them to open, close and switch between different
circuits. There are different kinds such us push button
switch, on-off switch, 2-way switch, etc.

## Circuit protection elements

If too much electrical current passes through a wire,
it heats up and a fire can start. To avoid this, most
electrical circuits, including those in houses, use fuses
(as shown in the figure on the right). A fuse is a device
-normally a wire- that burns up and breaks if too
much electricity goes through it. The element in the
fuse melts, breaking the circuit and preventing other
components of the circuit from being damaged by the
overcurrent.
202 203

## To establish an electric circuit there must be two requirements:

1. A closed path for the electrons to flow.
2. An energy supply which creates an electric potential difference across the two ends of the
electrical circuit. The electric potential difference is the force that causes the current to flow.

With only these two requirements we get a short circuit. The charge flows between the terminals
and a lot of energy is consumed. The circuit heats the wire to a high temperature and a fire might
break out.

In practice, electrical circuits are designed to serve a useful function. So the circuit must have a
bulb, a motor, a bell or a similar device that uses electricity for a specific function.

## 3.2. SYMBOLS OF ELECTRIC COMPONENTS

Schemes are used to represent electrical circuits in which each element is identified by a symbol.

G
conductor cell battery generator

## switch push switch two way switch bulb

M V A
resistor motor volmeter ammeter

Here you can see an example of an electrical circuit, containing some of these elements:

+
9V

13A
4. ELECTRICAL MAGNITUDES

## 4.1. TENSION OR VOLTAGE (V)

Voltage is the force that causes a current to flow. It is a measurement of the level of the electrical
energy. Voltage is measured in volts (V).

For example:
– A small battery used in an alarm clock has 1.5 volts.
– A button battery, as in a watch, can have 3 volts.
– Electricity at home is supplied at 230 volts.

For a flow of current there must be a different energy level between two points of the circuit
(voltage). A generator is the device that produces the voltage needed in a particular circuit.

## 4.2. CURRENT (I)

Current is the number of electrons flowing through a circuit in a second. It’s measured in amperes (A).

## 4.3. RESISTANCE (R)

Resistance is anything which opposes the flow of current in a circuit. The resistance is measured
in ohms (_)
For example:
– Longer wires have greater resistance.
– Resistance increases as the cross-sectional area of the wire decreases.
– Electrical insulators offer a very high resistance.
– Electrical conductors offer very low resistance.
– As the temperature increases the resistance of a wire increases (this is used in a resistance
thermometer).
– Resistors can be used to control the current in a circuit.
– A variable resistor is used to adjust the flow of current in a circuit.

5. OHM’S LAW

The relationship between current, voltage and resistance was discovered by George Ohm. From
experiments, he found that:
V =I R
This expression can also be written in other ways:
V V
R= I=
I R
Looking at the last equation we can see that if the voltage increases, but the resistance is constant,
the current also increases.
204 205

6. TYPES OF CIRCUITS

Circuits exist in all kinds of different places. The lighting in school or at home, street lights, torches
and alarm systems all have circuits that are fairly simple.
Circuits are found in calculators, computers, televisions, radios, cars, medical equipment, aircraft,
the Internet, factories, telephones and many more places.
We shall look at some of these connections.

## 6.1. SERIES CIRCUIT

Components that are placed one after another in the circuit are connected in series. The current
that flows across each component has the same value.

## The diagram on the right shows a circuit with +

two lamps connected in series. If one lamp
breaks, the other lamp will not light.

## This circuit is another example of a series M

circuit. Different types of components can be
connected in series.

+ –

10K

## If we connect several electric components +

as shown in the figure on the right, we say 9V 10K M
that they are connected in parallel.

## The scheme on the right shows a circuit +

with two lamps connected in parallel. If
one lamp breaks, the other lamp will still
light.
SERIES CIRCUIT PARALLEL CIRCUIT

Scheme of R R
RTotal
1
= R1 + R2 2
the circuit
+ –
V R1 R2
V 1 1 1
= +
RTotal R1 R2

I Total = I1 + I 2 RTotal = R1 + R2
RTotal = R1 + R2
Resistance The effect is to add more The effect is to reduce the resistance
resistance to the circuit of the circuit
1 1 1
V = V1 = V2 1 = 1 + 1
RTotal
Total = R1 + R2 RTotal = R1 + R2
RTotal R1 R2

I1 = I1 = I 1
= supply
1 + is I
The voltageI Total
=I +I
Total = I 1 + I 2
Voltage The voltageTotal
of the 2 shared 1 component
across each 2

## betweenRthe R1 Rin2 series

Totalcomponents in parallel, is the same

## VI Total = V1 + V2 V = VR1 =+ VR2

Total = I 1 + I 2 RTotal
V Total = V
Total 11 = V22

## Current The current

V that=flows
V1 =across
V2 each The currentI1Total == I11between
is shared =+ I 12 each
componentTotal I = I = Iparallel
connected in series is componentRTotal
Total R11 in R
connected 2
2
the same

I Total = I 1 = I 2 VI Total = VI 1 +
+VI 222
VTotal
Total = V 11 V

VTotal = V1 + V2 VTotal = V1 = V2

I Total = I 1 = I 2

VTotal = V1 + V2
206 207

## R1=2Ω R2=4Ω R3=6Ω

+
V=12V

RTotal = 2 + 4 + 6 = 12Ω

VTotal 12V
I Total = = = 1A
RTotal 12Ω

V1 = I TOT * R1 = 1A * 2Ω = 2V

V 2 = I TOT * R2 = 1A * 4Ω = 4V

V3 = I TOT * R3 = 1A * 6Ω = 6V

VTOT = V1 + V 2 + V3 = 2V + 4V + 6V = 12V
EXAMPLES OF CIRCUITS: PARALLEL CIRCUIT

+
V=12V R1=2Ω R2=4Ω R3=6Ω

1 1 1 1 6 + 3 + 2 11
= + + = =
R Total 2 4 6 12 12
12
RTotal = Ω
11
VTotal 12V
I Total = = = 11 A
RTotal 12
Ω
11
V1 =V2 =V3 = 12 V

## V1 12V V2 12V V3 12V

I1 = = = 6A I2 = = = 3A I3 = = = 2A
R1 2Ω R2 4Ω R 3 6Ω

I TOT = I 1 + I 2 + I 3 = 6 A + 3 A + 2 A = 11 A
208 209

## The total resistance is smaller

Resistance The total resistance is greater than
than the smallest of the resistance
rules every single resistance of the circuit
connected in parallel.

## The current is the same in every The sum of currents approaching

point of the circuit a junction is the same as the one
Current As the number of appliances leaving that junction
rules increases in the circuit, the More current goes through the
resistance gets larger and the easier path (the one with less
current gets smaller resistance)

## The total voltage is shared between Appliances in parallel receive the

all the appliances of the circuit. same voltage
Voltage
A battery voltage is equal to Battery voltage is equal to the
rules
the sum of the voltages at every voltage at every appliance of the
appliance of the circuit circuit.

## 6.3. MIXED CIRCUIT

If a circuit has components connected both in series and in parallel, we call it a mixed circuit.

+
– M

## 6.4. ASSOCIATION OF BATTERIES

Cells and batteries are useful sources of electricity. They transfer chemical energy to electrical
energy.
A zinc-carbon cell (dry Leclaché cell): This is the common cell used in torches. The voltage across
the cell is 1.5V. Once the chemicals are used up you throw it away.
There are also re-chargeable batteries. For example, a lead-acid battery in a car turns the starter
motor and is then re-charged when the engine is running. During re-charging, the energy is stored
in the battery.
We shall look at some ways of connecting batteries.
Batteries in series
When we connect several batteries in series in a circuit, the total voltage increases and the
current gets larger.

## In circuits A and B, the C

1,5
batteries give 1.5 volts. volt
1,5 Volt lamp 1,5
In circuit C the batteries, volt

## connected in series, give 3 B 1,5 Volt lamp

volts. The lamp will be very 1,5
volt
bright. 1,5 1,5
volt volt 1,5 Volt lamp

Batteries in parallel
When batteries are connected in parallel, as we can see in circuit B, their voltages don’t add up.
The reason for connecting batteries in parallel is that two batteries last longer than one and
can supply a higher current if needed.
As we can see, in circuit B, the batteries give 1.5 volts. The lamp will have normal brightness (as
in circuit A) but the batteries will last twice as long as those in circuit A.

## 7.1. CURRENT INTENSITY – AMMETER

An ammeter is an instrument which is used to measure the flow of an electric current in a circuit.

The ammeter is in
series with the lamp

A
210 211

Diagrams A and B below show a circuit before and after connecting an ammeter.

A B ammeter
I
A

R1 R1

R2 V R2 V

## – The ammeter must be connected in series with the resistor.

– Ammeters must have a LOW resistance.

All the current flowing in the circuit must pass through the ammeter. As meters are not supposed to
alter the behaviour of the circuit, or at least not significantly, the ammeter must have a very LOW
resistance.

## 7.2. VOLTAGE – VOLTMETER

A voltmeter is an instrument used for measuring the voltage between two points in an electric
circuit.

The voltimeter is in
parallel with the lamp

V
Diagram C shows the same circuit after connecting a voltmeter:

A C
I I

R1 R1

voltmeter

R2 V R2 V

– To measure the voltage, the circuit is not changed: the voltmeter is connected in parallel.
– Voltmeters must have a HIGH resistance.

This time, you do not need to break the circuit. The voltmeter is connected in parallel, so it should
take as little current from the circuit as possible. In other words, a voltmeter should have a very HIGH
resistance.
Voltage measurements are used much more often than current measurements.

## An ohmmeter is an instrument used to measure the resistance of a particular component of an

electric circuit.
I I

R1 R1

ohmmeter

R2
R2 V Ω
212 213

## To measure resistance, the component must be removed from the circuit.

If you want to measure the resistance of a particular component, you must take it out of the circuit
and test it separately, as shown in diagram D.

A multimeter or a
multitester is an electronic
measuring instrument that
combines several functions
in one unit. The most basic
instruments include an
ammeter, voltmeter, and
ohmmeter.

8. ELECTRICAL SAFETY

Electricity can light lamps, can work televisions and many other things we use in our everyday
life but it is important not to get in the way of electricity because it can harm you. Electricity can
be dangerous, we need to take care and keep ourselves safe. If you come into contact with the
electricity in an appliance, power cord, or power line, you could be seriously injured or killed.
Here are some safety rules to help us:
– Respect the power of electricity.
– Never put anything into sockets.
– If you use an adaptor be careful not to overload the socket.
– Never poke anything into electrical machines.
– Never play with electrical cords, wires, switches, or plugs.
– If a plug or switch becomes hot in use turn it off.
– If an appliance works improperly or gives the slightest warning of a problem, such as shocks
or sparks, disconnect it and have it serviced.
– Never repair a break in an outdoor extension cord. Throw the cord away and buy a new one.
– Protect cords from heat, chemicals and oil. Coil cords loosely when storing tools. If cords are
broken, get new ones or shorten them.
– Keep cords out of pedestrian areas where people could trip over them.
– Don’t use appliances with a frayed flex or a cracked plug. Tell an adult about it.
– Never use a hairdryer or play an electrical radio or television in the bathroom or use them
near any water.
– Make sure your hands are dry before you touch anything electrical.
– Never throw water on an electrical fire.
– Stay away from power equipment.
– Stay away from broken power lines. Tell an adult.
– Take extra precautions when using power tools. Your electrical wiring should be adequate
for the job. Circuits should be grounded. The tools should be insulated.
– If you encounter an electrical-injured victim, do not touch the person until they have been
freed from the source of electricity. You can use a non-conductor, such dry rope or wood to
push or pull the victim away from the power source.
– Stay away from substations and transformers.
– Inform your teacher of faulty equipment in the workshop

ELECTRICITY KILLS
MAKE SURE IT’S SAFE

## 9. ELECTRICITY AND ENVIRONMENT

The generation and use of electricity affects the environment. Engineers and scientists are
developing new environmentally-friendly ways of generating electricity. There are lots of ideas
such as: nuclear power, wind power, solar power, wave power, tidal power, and biomass energy.
Below we can see some examples of the environmental impact of electricity, both of its generation
and its use:
– The variety of fuels - coal, oil or natural gas - used to generate electricity has some impact
on the environment. The fossil fuels are burned to create steam. This steam is used to turn a
turbine which will move the electric generator. The smoke and gas from burning fossil fuels
pollutes the air. For example: sulphur dioxide and NOx emissions contribute to acid rain and
carbon emissions contribute to global climate change.
– The force of water —used in a hydro–electric facility— to turn the turbines and the
generator disrupts the natural flow of a river with negative effects on fish and water plants.
– Nuclear power plants are generating and accumulating radioactive waste.
– Some of the renewable energy facilities can affect wildlife (fish and birds) and the disruption
of land uses
214 215

As electricity is very important in our daily lives, we demand more electricity everyday and we are
polluting and increasing the damage to our environment. We must avoid this by using electricity
efficiently and obtaining it from the cleanest sources available.
There are also some things we can do to save energy in order not only to preserve the world but
also to save money, such us:
– Insulate your walls, windows and ceilings.
– Set your clothes washer to the warm or cold water setting, not hot.
– Make sure your dishwasher and washing machine are full when you run them and use the
energy saving setting, if available.
– Select the most energy-efficient models when you replace your old appliances.
– Be careful not to overheat or overcool rooms.
– Whenever possible, walk, bike, car pool, or use mass transit.
– Reduce the amount of waste you produce by buying minimally packaged goods, choosing
reusable products over disposable ones, and recycling.

10. EXERCISES

The following exercises can be done with our pupils during the lessons:
1. Say which of the following materials are good conductors: rubber, copper, nylon, glass, iron and
wood.
2. Complete the following sentences:
a. The force that is applied to a conductor to cause a current to flow is _______________
b. With an increase of length or a decrease of cross-section of a conductor the resistance
________________
c. Current must always be expressed in _________________
d. The total current of a simple circuit with a voltage supply of 12 volts and a resistance of 24
_ is _________
e. When you have three bulbs connected in series, the same______________ will flow
through all of them.
f. When a lamp breaks and others continue working, they are connected in
______________
3. A current of 3 A, flows through a resistor of 6_ .What is the voltage across R?
4. What is the resistance of a circuit that is crossed by a current of 2 A with a voltage of 40 V?
5. In a circuit R=2 _. What will the current flowing through it be if the voltage is 60 V?
6. How are the bulbs connected in each of these circuits?

a) c)

+ +

b) d)

+ +

7. In these drawings there are various connections between bulbs and motors and one or more
batteries. Say which circuits will work and describe what will happen in each case.

+ +
– –

+ + +
– – –
M
216 217

8. What is the difference between these two circuits? Which is right? Why?

+

M
+
– M

## 9. Which of these are electrical appliances?

Torch Book Radio Mobile phone Lamp Computer Television Plastic cup

10. Can you fill the gaps with the words listed?

## batteries safer mains water dangerous

Electrical appliances run on mains or………………………or sometimes both. The mains supply
of electricity is very ………………………Batteries are usually……………than the ……………Never
let……………near electrical appliances.

11. Match the words in the first column to the best available answer in the second column:

## Switch 1) Energy source for a circuit

2) Measures the potential difference across any two points
Battery
of a circuit

## Resistor 3) Ratio of potential energy to current

Voltmeter 4) Potential energy per unit of charge

Ammeter 5) Converts electric energy into other forms

Potential
6) A device for closing and opening a circuit
Difference

## Current 7) Measures the current flowing through a circuit

Resistance 8) A flow of electric charge
12. Match the symbols with their names:

Resistor

Motor

Battery M

Fuse
+

Bulb

## 13. What would happen in this circuit if:

I1
M
a) The motor blows
b) Bulb 1 blows + I2
c) Bulb 2 blows - B2
d) You open or close switch 1
e) You open or close switch 2

14. In each of the two circuits indicate which bulb will be lit if:
a. You close all of the switches except switch A
b. You close all of the switches except switch B
c. You close all of the switches except switch C

A A
B C
+
C
– +
B –
218 219

15. Calculate the amount of current flowing through the following circuits:

1,5 Ω 1,5 Ω 5Ω 20 Ω

R1 R2 R1 R2
+ +
12V 100V
– –

16. Calculate the total resistance and the total current which flows through the circuit in the
following examples:

12 volts 24 volts
+ R1 R2 + R1 R2

– 5Ω 10 Ω – 10 Ω 15 Ω

R1 20 Ω
R3 10 Ω

9 volts
+
R2 30 Ω

11. SIMULATION PRACTICES

Crocodile program, draw and analyse the following circuits, noting whether it is a series circuit, a
parallel circuit or a mixed circuit. Note also the current intensity (I) flowing through each resistor
and the voltage (V) across each of them.

1k 2k

+
6V 1k

1k

2k
+
6V

1k

1k

2k

1k

+
9V

2k

1k

2k

+
9V

60

+
6V 40
150
220 221

## 12. WORKSHOP PRACTICES

Here there are some circuits that can be mounted in the workshop. The teacher will prepare some
questions for each circuit that the students will have to answer.

6V 6V

+ - + -

L1 L2

6V 6V L1

+ - + -

L1 L2

L2 L3

6V 6V

+ - + -
13. ASSESSMENT

TYPE 1
Name:
Date:

## NOTE: Don’t forget to use the units when needed.

1. For the circuit below, calculate the current intensity flowing through the resistor (1.5 points)
10 V
150 Ω
+
10 V-
150 Ω
+ -
10 V
150 Ω
+ -

## 2. What resistance must we place in this circuit if I=2 mA (1.5 points)

12 V
+12 V-
+ -
12 V
+ -

10 Ω 10 Ω
3. Write what
10 kind
Ω of circuit is the
10 Ωone below. Calculate the current intensity flowing through
each resistor. How much voltage is there in the first resistor? (1.5 points)

10 Ω 10 Ω

10 V 20 Ω
+10 V-
20 Ω
+ -
10 V 20 Ω
+ -
222 223

4. Note what kind of circuit is the one below. Write the voltage and current intensity for each
lamp. (1.5 points)

## Note: You can assume that both lamps similar.

0,018 A

Lamp 1 Lamp 2
+
9V V

I

5. Draw the scheme of a circuit with 2 lamps and 2 motors, so that: (1.5 points)
a. Both lamps turn on and off at the same time
b. Motors work independently from the lamps (it doesn’t matter if the lamps are on or off)
c. The complete circuit can be turned off with a switch

## 6. Write the units of the following electrical magnitudes: (1 point)

a. Voltage, V:
b. Current intensity, I:
c. Resistance, R:

## 7. Look at the scheme and complete the following sentences:

To have both bulbs on, you should
The motor works if
Is it possible to have only one bulb on? Why/Why not? (1.5 points)

S1

+
9V

S2

M S3
TYPE 2
Name:
Year: Date:

Switch

## Push button switch

Fuse

Battery

Motor

Bulb

Resistor

Bell or buzzer

Voltmeter

2. How can you join 3 batteries of 1,5 volts to have a 4,5 V battery? Draw the scheme.

3. How can we join three 1,5 V batteries so that they together last 3 times more than only one?

4. Write the voltage that these voltmeters indicate. Don’t forget to write the units.

Voltmeter Voltage V2 V3
µV µV
V1

V2 +
12 V V1 µV
V3
224 225

5. Write the current intensities that these ammeters indicate. Don’t forget to write the units.
A2 0.00
Ammeter Intensity µA
A1 0.00
µA
A1 60mA
+ A3 0.00
9V
A2 µA

A3

6. How much current intensity flows through these circuits when we close the switches?

9V 9V 9V
+ - + - + -

27 Ω

7. How can you make sure that a DC motor turns clockwise and then anticlockwise?