- an electric current that reverses direction at regular intervals, having a magnitude that varies continuously in sinusoidal manner. Abbreviation: ac
Origin of alternating current
Examples from the Web for alternating current
Historical Examples of alternating current
I will now explain the nature of an alternating-current dynamo.Wrinkles in Electric Lighting
The alternating-current arc-lamp was developed after the appearance of the direct-current open-arc and has been widely used.Artificial Light
In alternating-current circuits its place is taken by the dynamometer type, which reads both direct and alternating currents.
The second torpedo they caught and deflected on a beam of alternating-current magnetism that repelled it.The Ultimate Weapon
John Wood Campbell
Its two fundamental parts are an alternating-current generator and a polarized bell-ringing device.Cyclopedia of Telephony & Telegraphy Vol. 1
- a continuous electric current that periodically reverses direction, usually sinusoidallyAbbreviation: AC Compare: direct current
- An electric current that repeatedly changes its direction or strength, usually at a certain frequency or range of frequencies. The term is also used to describe alternating voltages. Power stations generate alternating current because it is easy to raise and lower the voltage of such current using transformers; thus the voltage can be raised very high for transmission (high voltages lose less power as heat than do low voltages), and lowered to safe levels for domestic and industrial use. In North America, the frequency of alternation of the direction of flow is 60 Hz, or 60 cycles per second. In other parts of the world it is 50 Hz. Compare direct current. See Notes at current Tesla.