# Stupid qestion

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by Chugga Chug, Mar 2, 2007.

1. ### Chugga ChugGuest

In this room I have a socket on the wall marked "230 V AC", but there is
nothing plugged in.

If there is no load, then there is no current flow from the socket. If there
can only be current flow into a load, then does this mean that I nolonger
have AC (alternating current)?

So why do we say AC, when we really mean AV? Just a thought!

2. ### Tim GardGuest

Even without load, the voltage continues to oscillate while the current is
zero. You are of coarse correct from my point of view. But logic and science
seldom go hand in hand, unfortunately! But, if you look at the device in
its working state rather than its idle, and useless, then the current
alternates. Ok. I'll give em that ...

Tim Gard

3. ### TimPerryGuest

from this point it just word games your AC is potentially there

current is the movement of electrons (or holes if you prefer)

voltage is derived from current.

AV means audio/visual

VA means volt-amps or veterans administration or Virginia

4. ### Guest

|> In this room I have a socket on the wall marked "230 V AC", but there is
|> nothing plugged in.
|>
|> If there is no load, then there is no current flow from the socket. If there
|> can only be current flow into a load, then does this mean that I no longer
|> have AC (alternating current)?
|>
|> So why do we say AC, when we really mean AV? Just a thought!
|
| I can attempt to at least partially answer your question even without
| my morning cup of coffee.
| There is still voltage at those contacts even though nothing is
| plugged into it, i.e. just because
| your widget isn't plugged in doesn't mean the whole grid just shut
| down obviously. So there
| is still alternating voltage, as you indicate, you're just not tapping
| into it. Therefore, there is
| no current flowing, and thus no "alternating current".

Actually, there is alternating current flowing. How much depends on how
far the wire runs. There's only voltage at the end, but there is current
along the wires. It's called "charging current".

5. ### Ben MillerGuest

Actually there is voltage all along the wires also.

Ben Miller

6. ### Harry DarkasGuest

Interesting response to a relatively meaningless question. Many thanks to
you and all who have given their opinion. I shall refrain from asking if the
generating company are not cheating me by selling me the same electrons,
over and over again ;-)

CC

7. ### Harry DarkasGuest

There is absolutely no reason why abbreviations cannot be re-used again and
again. Take for example AA. This is a battery form designation, but it also
means:

Amino Acid
Anti-Aircraft
Alcoholics Anonymous
Automobile Association
American Airlines
Arabian Acoustics

Even the BBC would be horrified to read my dictionary of abbreviations. It
also lists the "Belfast Boat Club"!

8. ### TimPerryGuest

sure there is, accurate communication is needed. when the same sounds or
abbreviations have different meanings within a related field coherent
communication ceases.

9. ### Don KellyGuest

---------
You are right in but you have to go back into history to determine how AC vs
AV came about. Possibly it was because one can more easily measure current
than voltage (most analog voltmeters are based on mechanical deflection due
to a current through the meter). In any case it is likely that noone now
alive knows why AC/DC was used in place of AV/DV. It is locked into the
vocabulary to such an extent that there is no point in getting a hairy about
it as that simply leads to more confusion. We have enough of that with
"conventional" vs "electron" current or worse yet: "induced current" which,
strictly speaking, doesn't exist but is commonly and erroneously used .

It is easy to be logical with 100+ years of hindsight- but then it is too
late. --

Don Kelly
----------------------------

10. ### b_footeGuest

----- Original Message -----
From: "Don Kelly" <>
Newsgroups: alt.engineering.electrical
Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2007 10:42 PM
Subject: Re: Stupid qestion

back in those days, they were still working with static electricity, like
high voltages built up on amber rubbed rapidly with wool, etc, and chemical
batteries....
Batteries, have a "current" when connected in a complete loop from battery
back to battery... a loop thru which there was a "current"... so maybe
conceptually they thought more in terms of "current" than voltages that
were sometimes "static", some times "steady", like "direct", and sometimes,
changing voltages and reducing losses due to currents in wires with
resistances....
Maybe simple... needing a closed circuit for the current to flow thru.. New
Jersey, usa