Physics (P1) - Alternating vs Direct current

  • Created by: Cellis1
  • Created on: 19-03-17 17:50
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  • Direct vs Alternating currents
    • A direct current is produced by a cell and the electrons only flow in one direction.
    • An alternating current is produced by a mains supply/ generator and constantly changes in directions.
      • An advantage to an alternating current is that it is very easy for a transformer to increase the potential difference applied which would be much harder with a direct current.
        • The UK mains supply is 230V and the current has a frequency of 50Hz.
    • Scientists can see the pattern of a current using an oscilloscope.
      • On an oscilloscope, an alternating current's potential difference will go between positive and negative.
        • The height of the peak tells us the maximum potential difference.
      • The potential difference of a direct current will not change.


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