electric current

GC: n

CT: Electric current is the rate of charge flow past a given point in an electric circuit, measured in Coulombs/second which is named Amperes. In most DC electric circuits, it can be assumed that the resistance to current flow is a constant so that the current in the circuit is related to voltage and resistance by Ohm’s law. The standard abbreviations for the units are 1 A = 1C/s.

S: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/electric/elecur.html (last access: 17 February 2015)

N: 1. electric (adj): 1640s, first used in English by physician Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682), apparently coined as Modern Latin electricus (literally “resembling amber”) by English physicist William Gilbert (1540-1603) in treatise “De Magnete” (1600), from Latin electrum “amber,” from Greek elektron “amber” (Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus), also “pale gold” (a compound of 1 part silver to 4 of gold); which is of unknown origin. Originally the word described substances which, like amber, attract other substances when rubbed. Meaning “charged with electricity” is from 1670s; the physical force so called because it first was generated by rubbing amber. In many modern instances, the word is short for electrical.
current (n): late 14c., from Middle French corant (Modern French courant), from Old French corant. Applied 1747 to the flow of electrical force.
2. Electric current is defined as the rate at which charge flows through a surface (the cross section of a wire, for example). Despite referring to many different things, the word current is often used by itself instead of the longer, more formal “electric current”. The adjective “electrical” is implied by the context of the situation being described. The phrase “current through a toaster” surely refers to the flow of electrons through the heating element and not the flow of slices of bread through the slots.

S: 1. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=electric+current&searchmode=none; http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=current&searchmode=none (last access: 17 February 2015). 2. http://physics.info/electric-current/ (last access: 17 February 2015).

SYN: electrical current

S: TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 17 February 2016)

CR: alternating current, diode , direct current, Faraday’s law of electromagnetic induction.