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# What is the difference between AC and DC?

Article Summary

## Understanding the Basics of Electricity

Before we dive into the differences between AC and DC, it's important to have a basic understanding of electricity. Electricity is the flow of electrical charge through a conductor, such as a wire. This flow of charge is known as electric current. The force that pushes the current through the conductor is called voltage. The amount of work that can be done by the electric current is known as power.

## Defining AC and DC

AC and DC are two different types of electrical current. AC stands for Alternating Current, while DC stands for Direct Current. The main difference between the two lies in the direction of the flow of electrons. In DC, the electrons flow in a single direction, from the negative terminal to the positive terminal. This means that the voltage maintains a constant polarity. DC is commonly used in low-voltage applications, such as in batteries, solar cells, and electronic devices. On the other hand, in AC, the direction of the electron flow periodically reverses, causing the voltage to alternate between positive and negative polarity. This reversal of direction typically occurs at a fixed frequency, which is measured in Hertz (Hz). AC is the type of electricity that powers our homes and offices, as it can be efficiently transmitted over long distances.