Quantcast Matter, Energy, and Electricity

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    Learning objectives are stated at the beginning of each chapter. These learning objectives serve as a preview of the information you are expected to learn in the chapter. The comprehensive check questions are based on the objectives. By successfully completing the NRTC, you indicate that you have met the objectives and have learned the information. The learning objectives are listed below.

Upon completing this chapter, you will be able to:

1. State the meanings of and the relationship between matter, element, nucleus, compound, molecule, mixture, atom, electron, proton, neutron, energy, valence, valence shell, and ion.

2. State the meanings of and the relationship between kinetic energy, potential energy, photons, electron orbits, energy levels, and shells and subshells.

3. State, in terms of valence, the differences between a conductor, an insulator, and a semiconductor, and list some materials which make the best conductors and insulators.

4. State the definition of static electricity and explain how static electricity is generated.

5. State the meanings of retentivity, reluctance, permeability, ferromagnetism, natural magnet, and artificial magnet as used to describe magnetic materials.

6. State the Weber and domain theories of magnetism and list six characteristics of magnetic lines of force (magnetic flux), including their relation to magnetic induction, shielding, shape, and storage.

7. State, using the water analogy, how a difference of potential (a voltage or an electromotive force) can exist. Convert volts to microvolts, to millivolts, and to kilovolts.

8. List six methods for producing a voltage (emf) and state the operating principles of and the uses for each method.

9. State the meanings of electron current, random drift, directed drift, and ampere, and indicate the direction that an electric current flows.

10. State the relationship of current to voltage and convert amperes to milliamperes and microamperes.

11. State the definitions of and the terms and symbols for resistance and conductance, and how the temperature, contents, length and cross-sectional area of a conductor affect its resistance and conductance values.

12. List the physical and operating characteristics of and the symbols, ratings, and uses for various types of resistors; use the color code to identify resistor values.


    The origin of the modern technical and electronic Navy stretches back to the beginning of naval history, when the first navies were no more than small fleets of wooden ships, using wind-filled sails and manned oars. The need for technicians then was restricted to a navigator and semiskilled seamen who could handle the sails.

    As time passed, larger ships that carried more sail were built. These ships, encouraging exploration and commerce, helped to establish world trade routes. Soon strong navies were needed to guard these sea lanes. Countries established their own navies to protect their citizens, commercial ships, and shipping lanes against pirates and warring nations. With the addition of mounted armament, gunners joined the ship's company of skilled or semiskilled technicians.

    The advent of the steam engine signaled the rise of an energy source more practical than either wind and sails or manpower. With this technological advancement, the need for competent operators and technicians increased.
However, the big call for operators and technicians in the U.S. Navy came in the early part of the 20th century, when power sources, means of communication, modes of detection, and armaments moved with amazing rapidity toward involved technical development. Electric motors and generators by then had become the most widely used sources of power. Telephone systems were well established on board ship, and radio was being used more and more to relay messages from ship to ship and from ship to shore. Listening devices were employed to detect submarines. Complex optical systems were used to aim large naval rifles. Mines and torpedoes became highly developed, effective weapons, and airplanes joined the Navy team.

    During the years after World War I, the Navy became more electricity and electronic minded. It was recognized that a better system of communications was needed aboard each ship, and between the ships, planes, submarines, and shore installations; and that weaponry advances were needed to keep pace with worldwide developments in that field. This growing technology carried with it the awareness that an equally skilled force of technicians was needed for maintenance and service duties.

    World War II proved that all of the expense of providing equipment for the fleet and of training personnel to handle that equipment paid great dividends. The U. S. Navy had the modern equipment and highly trained personnel needed to defeat the powerful fleets of the enemy.

    Today there is scarcely anyone on board a Navy ship who does not use electrical or electronic equipment. This equipment is needed in systems of electric lighting and power, intercommunications, radio, radar, sonar, loran, remote metering, weapon aiming, and certain types of mines and torpedoes. The Navy needs trained operators and technicians in this challenging field of electronics and electricity. It is to achieve this end that this module, and others like it, are published.


    If there are roots to western science, they no doubt lie under the rubble that was once ancient Greece. With the exception of the Greeks, ancient people had little interest in the structure of materials. They accepted a solid as being just that a continuous, uninterrupted substance. One Greek school of thought believed that if a piece of matter, such as copper, were subdivided, it could be done indefinitely and still only that material would be found. Others reasoned that there must be a limit to the number of subdivisions that could be made and have the material still retain its original characteristics. They held fast to the idea that there must be a basic particle upon which all substances are built. Recent experiments have revealed that there are, indeed, several basic particles, or building blocks within all substances.

    The following paragraphs explain how substances are classified as elements and compounds, and are made up of molecules and atoms. This, then, will be a learning experience about protons, electrons, valence, energy levels, and the physics of electricity.

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