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commutator

[kom-yuh-tey-ter] /ˈkɒm yəˌteɪ tər/
noun
1.
Electricity.
1. a device for reversing the direction of a current.
2. (in a DC motor or generator) a cylindrical ring or disk assembly of conducting members, individually insulated in a supporting structure with an exposed surface for contact with current-collecting brushes and mounted on the armature shaft, for changing the frequency or direction of the current in the armature windings.
2.
Mathematics. the element equal to the product of two given elements in a group multiplied on the right by the product of the inverses of the elements.
Origin of commutator
1830-1840
First recorded in 1830-40; commutate + -or2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for commutator
Historical Examples
• The brushes should be lifted from the commutator while this is being done.

O. A. Witte
• Brushes which bear on the commutator lead to the charging circuit.

O. A. Witte
• To these arms the brushes are attached, so that their spring ends engage with the commutator .

J. S. Zerbe
• A commutator, B, permits of establishing or interrupting the current at will.

• The commutator is in two parts, which must be insulated from each other.

Thomas M. (Thomas Matthew) St. John
• The slots in the commutator must be under the center of the yoke, 14.

Thomas M. (Thomas Matthew) St. John
• In a direct current motor this reversal is brought about by the commutator.

Willis Eugene Tower
• The wires from the current supply were connected to the commutator rings.

Various
• It is best to have these ends terminate on the commutator side of the frame.

Various
• The brushes are so mounted as to bear firmly upon the commutator.

Various
British Dictionary definitions for commutator

commutator

/ˈkɒmjʊˌteɪtə/
noun
1.
a device used to reverse the direction of flow of an electric current
2.
the segmented metal cylinder or disc mounted on the armature shaft of an electric motor, generator, etc, used to make electrical contact with the rotating coils and ensure unidirectional current flow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for commutator
n.

1839, agent noun in Latin form from Latin commutare (see commute (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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commutator in Science
 commutator   (kŏm'yə-tā'tər)    The arrangement of contact points in an electric motor connecting an external direct current power supply and the rotating electric coils that use the power, used to generate the AC voltages needed by the coils. The commutator is located at the rotating shaft of the motor, where two power contacts are swept underneath two metal brushes, supplying positive and negative voltage to the coils. When the motor has rotated 180 degrees, the power contacts are each moving under the opposite brush, reversing the polarity of the voltage supplied to the coils.In a group or an algebra, an element of the form ghg-1h-1 where g and h are elements of the group or algebra. If g and h commute, the commutator is the identity element. The commutator is often written [g, h].
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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Difficulty index for commutator

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Word Value for commutator

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