# electrical terms

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Roadrunner, Feb 16, 2013.

Feb 14, 2013
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Silly doubt:
Why is it called 'AC voltage or DC voltage' instead of 'Alternating or Direct voltage (AV/DV)' ?

2. ### ScottWang Moderator

Aug 23, 2012
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AC/DC -- C is represent the Current not the voltage.
So when a voltage is an Alternating Current then call it AC voltage.
And when a voltage is an Direct Current then call it DC voltage.

http://www.kpsec.freeuk.com/acdc.htm

3. ### ErnieM AAC Fanatic!

Apr 24, 2011
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Because calling it an "AV voltage" would mean "alternating voltage voltage" and we don't work for the Department of Redundancy Department.

Feb 14, 2013
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It should be just AV. Besides, aren't we using the phrase ' AC current' ? Why not just AC ?

5. ### DerStrom8 Well-Known Member

Feb 20, 2011
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The direction of current flow is what is alternating, not the voltage. The voltage is just a relative difference in potential. Current is what's actually changing direction.

Also, anyone who says "AC current" is wrong. They are saying "alternating current current". You should just say AC/DC if you're talking about the current, or AC/DC voltage if you're referring to the voltage.

6. ### ErnieM AAC Fanatic!

Apr 24, 2011
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Untrue. The voltage is also changing direction as the field causing it changes direction.

7. ### fender7802 Member

Apr 7, 2012
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I think Alternating Voltage is a correct term to use. The voltage is "alternating" polarity and magnitude over time. Alternating voltage. AC voltage is a way to say voltage which causes alternating current, in other words, alternating voltage.

There's also a lot of confusion with "AC power". This means power resulting from alternating voltage, and therefore also alternating current.

8. ### DerStrom8 Well-Known Member

Feb 20, 2011
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The voltage doesn't move. It doesn't change direction. Sure, I suppose you could say the polarity is alternating, but the current is really what's changing direction. Therefore, the person who called it "alternating current" is still correct.

When you're talking about AC, you're obviously referring to the current, not the voltage. I suppose if you were talking about the voltage you could use the term "alternating voltage", but it's just not common knowledge.

9. ### thatoneguy AAC Fanatic!

Feb 19, 2009
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Most of the basic terminology was pretty much set in stone 100 years ago.

Changing it now would be only slightly more difficult than making the schematic symbol for BJTs have the arrow point in the direction of electron flow.