## DC Circuits and AC Circuits

Table of Contents

**DC Circuits and AC Circuits**

**DC CIRCUITS:**

A DC circuit (Direct Current circuit) is an electrical circuit that consists of any combination of constant voltage sources, constant current sources, and resistors. In this case, the circuit voltages and currents are constant, i.e., independent of time. More technically, a DC circuit has no memory. That is, a particular circuit voltage or current does not depend on the past value of any circuit voltage or current. This implies that the system of equations that represent a DC circuit do not involve integrals or derivatives.

If a capacitor and/or inductor is added to a DC circuit, the resulting circuit is not, strictly speaking, a DC circuit. However, most such circuits have a DC solution. This solution gives the circuit voltages and currents when the circuit is in DC steady state. More technically, such a circuit is represented by a system of differential equations. The solutions to these equations usually contain a time varying or transient part as well as constant or steady state part. It is this steady state part that is the DC solution. There are some circuits that do not have a DC solution. Two simple examples are a constant current source connected to a capacitor and a constant voltage source connected to an inductor.

In electronics, it is common to refer to a circuit that is powered by a DC voltage source such as a battery or the output of a DC power supply as a DC circuit even though what is meant is that the circuit is DC powered.

**AC CIRCUITS:**

**Fundamentals of AC:**

An alternating current (AC) is an electrical current, where the magnitude of the current varies in a cyclical form, as opposed to direct current, where the polarity of the current stays constant.

The usual waveform of an AC circuit is generally that of a sine wave, as these results in the most efficient transmission of energy. However in certain applications different waveforms are used, such as triangular or square waves.

Used generically, AC refers to the form in which electricity is delivered to businesses and residences. However, audio and radio signals carried on electrical wire are also examples of alternating current. In these applications, an important goal is often the recovery of information encoded (or modulated) onto the AC signal.

DC Circuits and AC Circuits