Numbers

5-1 Alternating Current

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Do you remember the concept of how a simple circuit operates?  You know that if you connect a plus pole (+) and a minus pole (-) of a battery with a conductor, electrons flow in the same direction.  This is called direct current, or DC.

If the difference between the - and the + poles of a battery is small, the electrons will not flow with much force.  However, if a lot of batteries are hooked together, the difference between the - and the + becomes great.  The electrons will then flow with greater force.  The force that makes electrons flow is called voltage.  The unit of electrical force or push is called the volt.  The more volts, the greater the difference between the - and + poles becomes.  The result is a greater push of electrons through the conductor.  A regular flashlight battery has a voltage of about 1.5 volts.

Direct current, or DC does not produce the electricity used to run refrigerators, washing machines and televisions.  A different kind of electricity is required for this.  It is called alternating current or AC because the direction of flow of the electrons keeps alternating back and forth.  This flow change occurs 60 times per second.

Alternating current is produced in electric power plants by huge electric generators.  The generator changes mechanical energy to electrical energy.  The electricity travels from a power plant to distance places.  The electricity is sent by wires at high voltage.

 

Directions: Answer the questions about direct current and alternating current.

current is produced if you connect a plus pole (+) and a minus pole (-) of a battery with a conductor.

current is produced in an electric power plant.

The flow change of alternating current occurs 60 times per .

The force that makes electrons flow is called .

The unit of electrical force or push is called the

A generator changes mechanical energy to energy.

Indicate if each of the following uses direct current or alternating current.  Use DC or AC to answer.

computer

remote control for TV

flashlight

washing machine

cell phone

vacuum cleaner

car

 

 

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DC and AC Currents