Welcome to practical physicsPracticle physics - practical activities designed for use in the classroom with 11 to 19 year olds

Experimenting with slow AC

Slow AC (with frequencies less than 1 Hz) can be used to show many AC phenomena. Meters and oscilloscopes can show changing voltages and currents, and the phase differences between them.

Traditionally these phase changes can be shown with the aid of a double beam oscilloscope. However, this is quite difficult to relate to what is going on in the circuit. A slow AC device, mechanical or electronic, aids the conceptual understanding since students are able to see the slow movements of the meter pointers.


Slow AC with a low frequency generator and oscilloscope

Slow AC with a low frequency generator and a voltmeter

Slow AC with an ohmic resistor

Slow AC with a capacitor

Slow AC with a capacitor and an inductor


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