In by Mark Goodman

The rate of flow of electricity through wire measured in terms of amperes.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
amperage (noun)
the strength of a current of electricity expressed in - amperes
amperage (Wikipedia)

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 unit ampere
Derivations from
other quantities
Dimension I

An electric current is a flow of electric charge. In electric circuits this charge is often carried by moving electrons in a wire. It can also be carried by ions in an electrolyte, or by both ions and electrons such as in an ionised gas (plasma).

The SI unit for measuring an electric current is the ampere, which is the flow of electric charge across a surface at the rate of one coulomb per second. Electric current is measured using a device called an ammeter.

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.

« Back to Glossary Index