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Electric Current

Electric current is flow of electric charge

Physics [Science]

Central Board of Secondary Education [12]

2/8/2010Print This PageTell - A - FriendAdd to Wish ListReport Error

Electric Current

Electric current is flow of electric charge. Suppose a collection of charges is moving perpendicular to a surface of area A, as show in figure.



Charges moving through a cross section

Te electric current is defined to be the rate at which charges flow across any cross-sectional area. If an amount of charge Q passes through a surface in a time interval t, then the average current lavg is given by



The SI unit of current is ampere (A), with 1 A = 1 coulomb/s. Common currents range from mega-amperes in lightning to nano-amperes in your nerves. In the limit t 0, the instantaneous current l may be defined as



Since flow has a direction, we have implicitly introduced a convention that the direction of current corresponds to the  direction in which positive charges are following. The flowing charges inside wires are negatively charges electrons that move in the opposite direction of the current. Electric currents flow in conductors: solids (metals, semiconductors), liquids (electrolytes, ionized) and gases (ionized), but the flow is impeded in non-conductors or insulators.

2/8/2010Print This PageTell - A - FriendAdd to Wish ListReport Error

Related Words:

Electric Current, Flow of Electric Charge, Perpendicular To Surface, Cross Section, Si Unit Of Current, Ampere, Coulombs Law, Mega Amperes, Nano Amperes, Positive Charges, Electric Wires, Negatively Charges Electrons, Opposite Direction of Current, Electric Currents Flow, Conductors, Metals, Semiconductors, Electrolytes, Ionized, Insulators

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