What is electric current?

What is electric current?

Electrical current is small particles called electrons that "flow" through a conductor, usually a type of metal wire. These electrons are negatively charged, and as they move through the conductor, they create electrical current. It is this current that provides power to electronic devices such as lamps, computers, and mobile phones. In other words, electrical current is electric charge in motion.

There are two types of electrical current:

  • Direct current (DC)
    Electrical current where the electrons move in one direction. Batteries produce direct current.
  • Alternating current (AC)
    Electrical current where the direction of electron flow constantly changes. It is alternating current that is used in the power grid to distribute electricity.

What is the unit of measurement for electrical current?

Electrical current can be measured in various ways:

  • Ampere (A): current strength - how much electrical current is moving through a circuit.

Other units of measurement include:

  • Volt (V): electrical voltage
  • Watt (W): electrical power
  • Ohm (Ω): electrical resistance