What Does Current Mean?

Current is the flow of electrical charge carriers like electrons. Current flows from negative to positive points. The SI unit for measuring electric current is the ampere (A). One ampere of current is defined as one coulomb of electrical charge moving past a unique point in a second. Electric current is widely used in household and industrial appliances.


Techopedia Explains Current

There are two types of electric current, namely alternating and direct current. In alternating current, the flow of current reverses its direction periodically. Alternating current in a circuit is represented by the sine wave. Direct current, unlike alternating current, flows in the same direction continuously. An example of direct current would be the current provided by a battery. In order to calculate the current flow through a conductor, Ohm’s law is used. According to Ohm’s law, the current through a conductor between two given points is also directly proportional to the potential difference between the points. The constant used in the proportionality is called resistance and the mathematical equation is I =V/R.

Electric current produces heating and magnetic effects. When current passes through a conductor, there is some heat generation due to ohmic loss in the conductor. This property is put to use for creating light in incandescent light bulbs. The stronger the current, the higher would be intensity of the magnetic field. Electric current is measured with the help of an ammeter.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…