Electric current

Electric current
Ohm's Law with Voltage source TeX.svg
A simple electric circuit, where current is represented by the letter i. The relationship between the voltage (V), resistance (R), and current (I) is V=IR; this is known as Ohm's law.
Common symbols
SI unitampere
Derivations from
other quantities

An electric current is the rate of flow of electric charge past a point[1]:2[2]:622 or region.[2]:614 An electric current is said to exist when there is a net flow of electric charge through a region.[3]:832 In electric circuits this charge is often carried by electrons moving through a wire. It can also be carried by ions in an electrolyte, or by both ions and electrons such as in an ionized gas (plasma).[4]

The SI unit of electric current is the ampere, which is the flow of electric charge across a surface at the rate of one coulomb per second. The ampere (symbol: A) is an SI base unit[5]:15 Electric current is measured using a device called an ammeter.[2]:788

Electric currents cause Joule heating, which creates light in incandescent light bulbs. They also create magnetic fields, which are used in motors, inductors and generators.

The moving charged particles in an electric current are called charge carriers. In metals, one or more electrons from each atom are loosely bound to the atom, and can move freely about within the metal. These conduction electrons are the charge carriers in metal conductors.


The conventional symbol for current is I, which originates from the French phrase intensité du courant, (current intensity).[6][7] Current intensity is often referred to simply as current.[8] The I symbol was used by André-Marie Ampère, after whom the unit of electric current is named, in formulating Ampère's force law (1820).[9] The notation travelled from France to Great Britain, where it became standard, although at least one journal did not change from using C to I until 1896.[10]

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Elektrischer Strom
العربية: تيار كهربائي
azərbaycanca: Elektrik cərəyanı
Bân-lâm-gú: Tiān-liû
башҡортса: Электр тогы
беларуская: Электрычны ток
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Электрычны ток
Чӑвашла: Электро ток
Esperanto: Elektra kurento
한국어: 전류
Ido: Korento
Bahasa Indonesia: Arus listrik
interlingua: Currente electric
íslenska: Rafstraumur
עברית: זרם חשמלי
қазақша: Электр тогы
Kiswahili: Mkondo wa umeme
Kreyòl ayisyen: Kouran elektrik
Кыргызча: Электр тогу
lietuvių: Elektros srovė
македонски: Електрична струја
Malagasy: Rianaratra
മലയാളം: വൈദ്യുതധാര
მარგალური: ელექტრული დენი
Bahasa Melayu: Arus elektrik
မြန်မာဘာသာ: လျှပ်စီး
Nederlands: Elektrische stroom
日本語: 電流
нохчийн: Ток
Nordfriisk: Stroom
norsk nynorsk: Elektrisk straum
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Elektr toki
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਬਿਜਲਈ ਕਰੰਟ
پنجابی: کرنٹ
Piemontèis: Corent elétrica
português: Corrente elétrica
Qaraqalpaqsha: Elektr togı
română: Curent electric
Simple English: Electric current
slovenščina: Električni tok
ślůnski: Sztrům
српски / srpski: Електрична струја
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Električna struja
татарча/tatarça: Электр агымы
українська: Електричний струм
اردو: برقی رو
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: توك ئېقىمى
Tiếng Việt: Dòng điện
文言: 電流
吴语: 电流
粵語: 電流
中文: 电流