What is electric current?

Electric current is typically measured in amperes (A), which represents the rate at which charge flows past a given point in the circuit. One ampere is defined as one coulomb of charge passing through a point in one second. A coulomb is a unit of electric charge, and it is approximately equivalent to the charge of 6.24 x 10^18 electrons.

Electric currents can be either direct current (DC) or alternating current (AC):

Direct Current (DC): In a DC circuit, the electric charge flows in one direction only. Batteries and most electronic devices use DC power.

Alternating Current (AC): In an AC circuit, the direction of electric charge periodically reverses. This reversal occurs at regular intervals, typically 50 or 60 times per second (hertz, Hz). AC power is the type of electricity commonly used in homes and businesses worldwide.

The flow of electric current in a circuit is driven by an electric potential difference, often referred to as voltage. Voltage creates an electric field that pushes electrons from an area of high potential (positive terminal) to an area of low potential (negative terminal), resulting in the flow of current.

It's important to note that electric current requires a complete circuit for the flow of charge to occur. In other words, the current must have a closed path from the source (e.g., a battery or power outlet) through the conductor and back to the source. If there is an interruption in the circuit, the current cannot flow.