Explain the following:

(a) Why is the tungsten used almost exclusively for the filament of electric lamps?

(b) Why are the conductors of electric heating devices such as bread toasters and electric irons made of an alloy rather than a pure metal ?

(c) Why is the series arrangement not used for domestic circuits?

(d) How does the resistance of a wire vary with its area of cross-section?

(e) Why are copper and aluminium wires usually employed for electricity transmission?

(a) Tungsten is used almost exclusively for making the filaments of electric lamps and electric bulbs because it has very high melting point nearly 3380°C due to which the tungsten filament can be kept white-hot without melting away.

(b) The coils (or heating elements) of toasters and electric irons are made of an alloy rather than a pure metal because the resistivity of an alloy is much higher than that a pure metal, and an alloy does not undergo oxidation easily even at high temperature, when it is red hot but metals can get easily oxidized at higher temperatures.

(c) The series arrangement is not used for domestic circuits because of the following disadvantages:

(i) In series arrangement, the current throughout the circuit is same. If one electrical appliance stops working due to some defect, then all other appliances also stops working (because the whole circuit is broken).

(ii) In series arrangement, all the electrical appliances can have only one switch due to which they cannot be turned 'on' or 'off' independently.

(iii) In series arrangement, all the appliances do not get the same voltage (220 V) as that of the power supply line (because the line voltage is shared by all the appliances). Due to this, the appliances do not work properly.

(iv) In series arrangement of electrical appliances, the overall resistance of the circuit increases too much because in series the net resistance is the addition of all the resistances. Due to this the current from power supply is low. Because of this, all the appliances of different power ratings cannot draw sufficient current for their proper working.

(d) The resistance of a wire is inversely proportional to its area of cross-section i.e. Thus, when the area of cross-section of wire increases (or thickness of wire increases), then its resistance decreases. Similarly, when the area of cross-section of wire decreases (or thickness of wire decreases), then its resistance increases.

(e) Copper and aluminium wires are usually employed for transmission of electricity because copper and aluminium are good conductors of electric current due to their low electrical resistivity.