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written by Michael Davidson
supported by the National Science Foundation
technical implementer: Matthew J. Parry-Hill
edited by Kristen Coyne
This item is a Java simulation that illustrates the "water-flow model" of electricity, a commonly-used analogy to help learners understand the flow of current through an electric circuit. Users control the flow rate to increase or decrease the amount of water running through the pipe. The water pump is analogous to a battery in a circuit; coiled water piping is analogous to the resistor in an electric circuit.  

Mag Lab U is part of a large collection of web-based educational materials for K-20, developed by the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University.  SEE RELATED MATERIALS for a link to the full index of interactive Java tutorials.

Please note that this resource requires Java Applet Plug-in.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Electricity & Magnetism
- DC Circuits
= Circuit Analysis
= Currents
= Ohm's Law
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Middle School
- Instructional Material
= Curriculum support
= Interactive Simulation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
General Public
Access Rights:
Free access
© 2006 http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/micro/legal.html
current, flow, meter, model, parallel, potential difference, propeller, pump, resistance, resistance coil, voltage, water
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created May 12, 2010 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
February 5, 2015 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
February 6, 2008
Other Collections:

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.

Topic: Electricity and Electrical Energy
Unit Title: A Model for Electricity

A simulation that illustrates the "water-flow" model of electricity. The water pump represents a battery in a circuit; coiled water pipe represents a resistor. Students control the rate of flow through the pipe. EDITOR'S NOTE: This model helps students understand some very basic ideas about current flow. We recommend using it with the resource directly above from "The Electricity Book".

Link to Unit:
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Record Link
AIP Format
M. Davidson, , edited by K. Coyne (2006), WWW Document, (https://legacywww.magnet.fsu.edu/education/tutorials/java/currentflow/index.html).
M. Davidson, Mag Lab U: Interactive Tutorials - Current Flow, , edited by K. Coyne (2006), <https://legacywww.magnet.fsu.edu/education/tutorials/java/currentflow/index.html>.
APA Format
Davidson, M. (2008, February 6). Mag Lab U: Interactive Tutorials - Current Flow. Retrieved February 14, 2016, from https://legacywww.magnet.fsu.edu/education/tutorials/java/currentflow/index.html
Chicago Format
Davidson, Michael. Mag Lab U: Interactive Tutorials - Current Flow. Edited by Kristen Coyne. February 6, 2008. https://legacywww.magnet.fsu.edu/education/tutorials/java/currentflow/index.html (accessed 14 February 2016).
MLA Format
Davidson, Michael. Mag Lab U: Interactive Tutorials - Current Flow. Ed. Coyne, Kristen. 2006. 6 Feb. 2008. National Science Foundation. 14 Feb. 2016 <https://legacywww.magnet.fsu.edu/education/tutorials/java/currentflow/index.html>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Michael Davidson", Title = {Mag Lab U: Interactive Tutorials - Current Flow}, Volume = {2016}, Number = {14 February 2016}, Month = {February 6, 2008}, Year = {2006} }
Refer Export Format

%A Michael Davidson
%T Mag Lab U: Interactive Tutorials - Current Flow
%E Kristen Coyne, (ed)
%D February 6, 2008
%U https://legacywww.magnet.fsu.edu/education/tutorials/java/currentflow/index.html
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Davidson, Michael
%D February 6, 2008
%T Mag Lab U: Interactive Tutorials - Current Flow
%E Coyne, Kristen
%V 2016
%N 14 February 2016
%8 February 6, 2008
%9 application/java
%U https://legacywww.magnet.fsu.edu/education/tutorials/java/currentflow/index.html

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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

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Mag Lab U: Interactive Tutorials - Current Flow:

Is Part Of Mag Lab U: Interactive Java Tutorials

A link to the full index of 60+ Java tutorials developed by Mag Lab U. The simulations range in complexity from very simple to advanced.

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