In this Lesson
To understand how electronic circuits work and how to use them. There are some basic definitions you need to learn.
Sensors: These are components that convert other forms of energy into electrical energy that you can read. Switches, knobs, potentiometers, light, and motion sensors fall in this category.
Actuators: convert electrical energy into other forms such as light bulbs, motors, and LEDs are all actuators.
Electricity: this is the flow of electrical energy through conductive materials. An electrical circuit consists of two elements: a power source and components that transform electrical energy into other forms of energy.
Electronics: electronics refers to reading changes in electrical properties as information. For example, a microphone changes sound pressure waves in the air into changing electrical voltage. The process of changing energy into another is called transduction. Devices that enable this are called transducers.
To use transduction with Arduino, you must learn something about electricity. Therefore some definitions are given below to understand a few things about electricity. After that, we will look into some electrical properties and components and the relationship between some of the terms.
Voltage: is a measure of the difference in electrical potential energy between two points in a circuit. Voltage is measured in Volts.
Current: a measure of the magnitude of electrons flow through a particular point of the circuit. This point is measured in Amperes or Amps. Since the current we are using is low with Arduino Boards, we will code most of the time with MilliAmps (mA).
Resistance: is a measure of the material’s ability to oppose the flow of electricity. Resistance is measured in ohms.
Resistors: resistors resist but do not block (totally) the flow of electricity. They are used to control the flow of current. Current can move either way through a resistor, so it doesn’t matter which way you connect the resistor in a circuit. Their resistance measures resistors in ohms (Ω), often seen as kilohms (KΩ).