# AC Sources

JoVE Core
Physik
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JoVE Core Physik
AC Sources

### Nächstes Video32.3: Resistor in an AC Circuit

The unidirectional flow of an electric charge through conductors is known as direct current, DC. Once the current is established, the DC voltage and current are both constant in time.

Mobile batteries, flashlights, and electric vehicles are examples of devices that use direct current to supply power to electrical devices.

Alternating current, AC, is when the flow of electric charge changes direction periodically. Any device that produces alternating current is known as an AC source. Most electrical appliances, like bulbs, fans, motors, etc., work on alternating current.

The waveform of alternating current can be sinusoidal, triangular, or square wave, with the positive half period corresponding to the current's positive direction, and the negative half period reversing.

The peak value of the wave in both directions is called the amplitude, while the time interval between the two successive cycles is known as the time period, and the number of cycles per second is the frequency.

A rectifier converts alternating current into direct current, whereas an inverter converts direct current into alternating current.

## AC Sources

Direct current is a flow of electric charge in only one direction and has a steady state of constant voltage in the circuit. Rectifiers, batteries, commutator-equipped generators, and fuel cells are some examples of devices that generate direct current. Nowadays, most applications use a time-varying voltage source. Alternating current is a flow of electric charge that periodically reverses direction. An alternating current is produced by an alternating emf that is generated in a power plant. If the alternating current source varies periodically, particularly sinusoidally, the circuit is known as an alternating current circuit. Some electrical devices, such as fans, bulbs, air conditioners, and motors, run on alternating current. Different alternating current voltages and frequencies are used in homes, offices, and other places around the world. The potential difference between two electrical outlets in a typical home alternates sinusoidally with a frequency of 60 Hz or 50 Hz and an amplitude of 156 V or 311 V depending on whether you live in the United States or Europe, respectively. The electrical outlets in the US and Europe have a potential difference of 120 V or 220 V, respectively. However, these voltages are the typical voltages in the outlets, not the peak values. When a resistor is connected to an alternating current voltage source, the voltage and current vary in time across the resistor. The voltage fluctuates sinusoidally with time at a fixed frequency on either the battery terminals or the resistor.