## electricity flows like water

It’s easier to wrap our heads around the concepts of electrical potential, resistance, and current by thinking of electricity like the flow of water. We can create high potential by filling a water tower. This is analogous to a difference in voltage. And just like charging a battery, it takes energy to fill a water tower (the law of conservation of energy is alive and well!). Water will flow if we create a path between a point of high potential and a point of low potential, just like electrical current. The path in our analogy could be a pipe that allows water to flow from the water tower to the ground. In an electrical circuit the path consists of copper wire and electronic components that electricity will flow through.

The rate of flow will depend on the difference in potential and the resistance of the path (remember I = V/R?). If we use a big pipe, water will flow quickly; a narrow section of pipe will add resistance and slow the rate of flow through the entire circuit. We often use special devices, called resistors, to slow the rate of electrical current through our circuits.

Like electricity, we can capture the energy of the flowing water to do work. We capture electrical energy to turn on lights, make sounds, turn motors, heat and cool objects, and even do math!

The rate of flow will depend on the difference in potential and the resistance of the path (remember I = V/R?). If we use a big pipe, water will flow quickly; a narrow section of pipe will add resistance and slow the rate of flow through the entire circuit. We often use special devices, called resistors, to slow the rate of electrical current through our circuits.

Like electricity, we can capture the energy of the flowing water to do work. We capture electrical energy to turn on lights, make sounds, turn motors, heat and cool objects, and even do math!