What Is a DC Circuit?

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A DC circuit refers to a direct current circuit, which is a current that moves in one direction, as opposed to an alternating current. Find out how a cell or battery provides power to a DC circuit with help from a science teacher in this free video on physical science.

Part of the Video Series: Physical & Life Science
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Steve Jones and I'm going to explain what a DC circuit is. Now in all electrical circuits, the things that carry the electric charge are called electrons and it doesn't matter whether it's a DC circuit or the other kind of circuit which is AC. DC stands for Direct Current. AC, Alternating Current. So you can imagine that if I talk about direct current, it is current going in one direction whereas alternating current it goes backwards and forwards. So in fact, alternating current is different not because it's not a flow of electrons, but because the electrons actually don't go one way, they go backwards and forwards vibrating back and forth. So in a DC circuit, we normally have a power supply and the power supply, a DC power supply would be represented in this way and normally it looks like this with a representation of a cell or battery if there are more than one cell. So a cell or battery. That's the power supply. Now we can also have a power supply which is represented in this way just like the one you'll have on your computer which will say for example 19 volts DC. Meaning that it's like a battery of 19 volts. This is exactly the same as a cell, it's just more convenient and it is made from an alternating current supply. So the answer what is a DC circuit, a DC circuit is a circuit in which the current moves all the time, that is the electrons move, all the time in the same direction around the circuit, it's a complete circuit with electrons always moving the same way.

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