We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Current Source?

By M. Walker
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
AboutMechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At AboutMechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A current source is a piece of equipment that is used to produce or receive an electric current. It is related to the voltage source, which is the dual of the current source. Often, a current source will be used to power various machines, which can derive energy from the electric current produced. There is a wide range current sources available, such as resistor sources, active sources, radio frequency (RF) current sources, and direct current (DC) and alternating current (AC) sources. Each type uses a different mechanism to generate and maintain an electric current.

Resistor sources are considered to be the simplest forms of current source. They involve a circuit that contains a resistor in series with a source of voltage. The current generated from this system is equivalent to the amplitude of the voltage, divided by the resistance of the resistor.

A resistor current source is generally not considered effective on its own because of the large amount of power lost in the resister, but many types of current source use elements of this setup. For example, active current sources often substitute a different element for the resistor. These use elements of transistors or vacuum tubes to replace the resistor because they can act as current sources when supplied with energy. By substituting these parts in for the resistor, the system will not lose the same amount of power.

DC and AC sources are frequently used in many different processes requiring electrical energy. Direct current is simply the flow of an electric current in one direction, while alternating current involves an alternating direction of current flow. AC can be converted to DC with the use of a rectifier, a device that permits only one direction of current flow. Equipment such as batteries, solar cells, and low-voltage devices frequently feature the use of a DC source, while certain motors and types of lighting rely on an AC source.

RF current source sends electrical signals at the frequency of radio waves. They differ from DC and AC sources in that they operate at a lower frequency and a higher voltage. Additionally, RF current generally runs along the surface of an electric conductor rather than completely within it, and it has the capacity to travel through insulating elements. It also has a greater capacity to ionize gas and gas plasma materials making it optimal for certain processes, such as electric arc welding and thin film sputtering.

AboutMechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

AboutMechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.