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published by the WGBH Educational Foundation
supported by the National Science Foundation
This is an animated tutorial for middle school and high school that explores the difference between AC and DC current. It will help students with the following concepts: 1) What is current? 2) How is current produced? 3) How is current conducted in a wire and a battery? 4) What is alternating current and why was it a groundbreaking discovery? 5) How does an AC generator work?

Editor's Note: This resource would be a good choice for classrooms in which Internet technology is limited, as it delivers the tutorial in an HTML format.

Teachers' Domain is an NSF-funded pathway of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL).
It is a growing collection of more than 1,000 free educational resources compiled by researchers and experienced teachers to promote the use of digital resources in the classroom.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Technology
= Multimedia
Electricity & Magnetism
- AC Circuits
- DC Circuits
= Currents
- High School
- Middle School
- Informal Education
- Instructional Material
= Curriculum support
= Tutorial
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
General Public
Access Rights:
Free access
© 2004 PBS Online: http://www.pbs.org/aboutsite/aboutsite_rules.html
AC current, DC current, E & M, animation, battery, circuit tutorial, circuits, current, electric current, electricity tutorial, electromagnetism
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created June 18, 2010 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
June 18, 2010 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
March 31, 2010

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.

Topic: Electricity and Electrical Energy
Unit Title: Moving Charges and Electric Circuits

This animated tutorial does a great job to promote understanding of current: what it is, how it is produced, and how it moves. The animations show students the difference between DC and AC current flow, and explain how and AC generator works. Especially recommended for classes where Internet technology is limited: the tutorial is delivered in HTML format.

Link to Unit:
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Record Link
AIP Format
(WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, 2004), WWW Document, (http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/phy03.sci.phys.mfw.acdc/).
Teachers' Domain: AC / DC: What's The Difference?, (WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston, 2004), <http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/phy03.sci.phys.mfw.acdc/>.
APA Format
Teachers' Domain: AC / DC: What's The Difference?. (2010, March 31). Retrieved September 19, 2014, from WGBH Educational Foundation: http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/phy03.sci.phys.mfw.acdc/
Chicago Format
National Science Foundation. Teachers' Domain: AC / DC: What's The Difference?. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation, March 31, 2010. http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/phy03.sci.phys.mfw.acdc/ (accessed 19 September 2014).
MLA Format
Teachers' Domain: AC / DC: What's The Difference?. Boston: WGBH Educational Foundation, 2004. 31 Mar. 2010. National Science Foundation. 19 Sep. 2014 <http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/phy03.sci.phys.mfw.acdc/>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {Teachers' Domain: AC / DC: What's The Difference?}, Publisher = {WGBH Educational Foundation}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {19 September 2014}, Month = {March 31, 2010}, Year = {2004} }
Refer Export Format

%T Teachers' Domain: AC / DC: What's The Difference?
%D March 31, 2010
%I WGBH Educational Foundation
%C Boston
%U http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/phy03.sci.phys.mfw.acdc/
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D March 31, 2010
%T Teachers' Domain: AC / DC: What's The Difference?
%I WGBH Educational Foundation
%V 2014
%N 19 September 2014
%8 March 31, 2010
%9 text/html
%U http://www.teachersdomain.org/resource/phy03.sci.phys.mfw.acdc/

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

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