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CHAPTER 8:
Alternating current
(6 Hours)
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
2
At the end of this chapter, students should be able to:
Define alternating current (AC).
Sketch and use sinusoidal AC waveform.
Write and use sinusoidal voltage and current equations.
Learning Outcome:
8.1 Alternating current (1 hour)
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s
i
c
s
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
3
is defined as an electric current whose magnitude and
direction change periodically.
Figures 8.1a, 8.1b and 8.1c show three forms of alternating
current.
8.1 Alternating current (AC)
Figure 8.1a: sinusoidal AC
I
t
0
T
T
2
1 T 2
T
2
3
0
I
0
I ÷
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
4
I
t
0
T
T
2
1 T 2
T
2
3
0
I
0
I ÷
T
T
2
1 T 2
T
2
3
Figure 8.1b: sawtooth AC
Figure 8.1c: square AC
0
I
0
I ÷
I
t
0
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
5
When an AC flows through a resistor, there will be a potential
difference (voltage) across it and this voltage is alternating as
shown in Figure 8.1d.
V
t
0
T
T
2
1 T 2
T
2
3
0
V
0
V ÷
( ) voltage maximum peak :
0
V
where
period : T
( )current maximum peak :
0
I
Figure 8.1d: sinusoidal alternating voltage
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
6
Frequency (f)
is defined as a number of complete cycle in one second.
Its unit is hertz (Hz) OR s
÷1
.
Period (T)
is defined as a time taken for one complete cycle.
Its unit is second (s).
Formulae,
Peak current (I
0
)
is defined as a magnitude of the maximum current.
Its unit is ampere (A).
8.1.1 Terminology in AC
f
T
1
= (8.1)
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
7
Equation for alternating current (I),
Equation for alternating voltage (V),
8.1.2 Equations of alternating current and voltage
t I I e sin
0
=
(8.2)
t V V e sin
0
=
(8.3)
phase
where locity angular ve OR frequency angular : e
current peak :
0
I
ge peak volta :
0
V
time : t
) 2 ( f t e =
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
8
At the end of this chapter, students should be able to:
Define root mean square (rms) current and voltage for
AC source.
Use the following formula,
Learning Outcome:
8.2 Root mean square (rms) (1 hour)
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p
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y
s
i
c
s
2
0
rms
I
I =
and
2
0
rms
V
V =
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
9
8.2.1 Mean or Average Current (I
av
)
is defined as the average or mean value of current in a
halfcycle flows of current in a certain direction.
Formulae:
8.2 Root mean square (rms)
( )
2
0 0
av
2
t
t
I I
I = =
(8.4)
Note:
I
av
for one complete cycle is zero because the current
flows in one direction in onehalf of the cycle and in the
opposite direction in the next half of the cycle.
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
10
In calculating average power dissipated by an AC, the mean
(average) current is not useful.
The instantaneous power, P delivered to a resistance R is
The average power, P
av
over one cycle of AC is given by
where is the average value of I
2
over one cycle and is
given by
Therefore
8.2.2 Root mean square current (I
rms
)
R I P
2
=
R I P
2
av
=
2
I
( )
2
rms
2
I I =
(8.5)
R I P
2
rms av
=
(8.6)
where AC ous instantane : I
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
11
Since
and the graph of I
2
against time, t is shown in Figure 8.2.
From Figure 8.2, the shaded region under the curve and above
the dashed line for I
0
2
/2 have the same are as the shaded
region above the curve and below the dashed line for I
0
2
/2.
Thus
thus the square value of current is given by t I I e sin
0
=
t I I e
2
2
0
2
sin =
2
0
I
T
T
2
1
T 2
T
2
3
2
2
0
I
t
0
2
I
Figure 8.2
2
2
0
2
I
I = (8.7)
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
12
By equating the eqs. (8.5) and (8.7), the rms current is
Root mean square current (I
rms
) is defined as the value of
the steady DC which produces the same power in a resistor
as the mean (average) power produced by the AC.
The root mean square (rms) current is the effective value of the
AC and can be illustrated as shown in Figure 8.3.
( )
2
2
0
2
rms
I
I =
2
2
0
rms
I
I =
2
0
rms
I
I =
(8.8)
I
t
0
T
T
2
1 T 2
T
2
3
0
I
0
I ÷
rms
I
0
707 . 0 I
Figure 8.3
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
13
is defined as the value of the steady direct voltage which
when applied across a resistor, produces the same power
as the mean (average) power produced by the alternating
voltage across the same resistor.
Its formula is
The unit of the rms voltage (potential difference) is volt (V).
8.2.3 Root mean square voltage (V
rms
)
2
0
rms
V
V =
(8.9)
Note:
Equations (8.8) and (8.9) are valid only for a sinusoidal
alternating current and voltage.
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
14
An AC source V=500 sin et is connected across a resistor of
250 O. Calculate
a. the rms current in the resistor,
b. the peak current,
c. the mean power.
Solution :
By comparing
Thus the peak voltage is
a. By applying the formulae of rms current, thus
Example 1 :
O = 250 R
t V e sin 500 =
to the
t V V e sin
0
=
V 500
0
= V
2
0
rms
I
I = and
R
V
I
0
0
=
2
0
rms
R
V
I =
2 250
500
=
A 41 . 1
rms
= I
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
15
Solution :
b. The peak current of AC is given by
c. The mean (average) power of the resistor is
O = 250 R
2
0
rms
I
I =
2
41 . 1
0
I
=
A 99 . 1
0
= I
R I P
2
rms av
=
( ) ( ) 250 41 . 1
2
=
W 497
av
= P
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
16
Figure 8.4 shows a graph to represent alternating current passes
through a resistor of 10 kO. Calculate
a. the rms current,
b. the frequency of the AC,
c. the mean power dissipated from the resistor.
Example 2 :
and
40
) A ( I
) ms ( t
0
20 80
02 . 0 ÷
02 . 0
60
Figure 8.4
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
17
Solution :
From the graph,
a. By applying the formulae of rms current, thus
b. The frequency of the AC is
c. The mean power dissipated from the resistor is given by
O × = 10 10
3
R
s 10 40 A; 02 . 0
3
0
÷
× = = T I
T
f
1
=
3
10 40
1
÷
×
= f
Hz 25 = f
2
0
rms
I
I =
2
02 . 0
rms
= I
A 10 41 . 1
2
rms
÷
× = I
R I P
2
rms av
=
( ) ( )
3
2
2
10 10 10 41 . 1 × × =
÷
W 99 . 1
av
= P
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
18
At the end of this chapter, students should be able to:
Use phasor diagram and sinusoidal waveform to show
the phase relationship between current and voltage for a
circuit consisting of
pure resistor
pure capacitor
pure inductor.
Define capacitive reactance, inductive reactance and
impedance.
Analyse voltage, current and phasor diagrams for a
series circuit consisting of
RC
RL
RCL.
Learning Outcome:
8.3 Resistance, reactance and impedance (2 hours)
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s
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
19
8.3.1 Phasor diagram
Phasor is defined as a vector that rotate anticlockwise about
its axis with constant angular velocity.
A diagram containing phasor is called phasor diagram.
It is used to represent a sinusoidally varying quantity such as
alternating current (AC) and alternating voltage.
It also being used to determine the phase angle (is defined as
the phase difference between current and voltage in AC
circuit).
Consider a graph represents sinusoidal AC and sinusoidal
alternating voltage waveform as shown in Figure 8.5a.
Meanwhile Figure 8.5b shows the phasor diagram of V and I.
8.3 Resistance, reactance and impedance
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
20
From the Figure 8.5a:
Thus the phase difference is
Therefore the current I is in phase with the voltage V and
constant with time.
t
0
0
I ÷
0
V ÷
0
I
0
V
T
T
2
1 T 2
T
2
3
ω
Figure 8.5a Figure 8.5b: phasor diagram
V
I
t I I e sin
0
= t V V e sin
0
=
0 = ÷ = A t t e e 
and
Note:
value positive = A
radian t  ± = A
value negative = A
Leads
Lags behind
In antiphase
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
21
The quantity that measures the opposition of a circuit to the
AC flows.
It is defined by
It is a scalar quantity and its unit is ohm (O).
In a DC circuit, impedance likes the resistance.
8.3.2 Impedance (Z)
rms
rms
I
V
Z = (8.10)
2
0
V
2
0
I
OR
0
0
I
V
Z =
(8.11)
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
22
The symbol of an AC source in the electrical circuit is shown in
Figure 8.6.
Pure resistor means that no capacitance and selfinductance
effect in the AC circuit.
Phase difference between voltage V and current I
Figure 8.7 shows an AC source connected to a pure resistor R.
8.3.3 Pure resistor in an AC circuit
Figure 8.6
AC source
R
I
R
V
V
Figure 8.7
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
23
The alternating current passes through the resistor is given by
The alternating voltage across the resistor V
R
at any instant is
given by
Therefore the phase difference between V and I is
In pure resistor, the current I always in phase with the
voltage V and constant with time.
Figure 8.8a shows the variation of V and I with time while Figure
8.8b shows the phasor diagram for V and I in a pure resistor.
t I I e sin
0
=
IR V
R
=
0 0
V R I = ( )R t I e sin
0
=
and
V t V V
R
= = e sin
0
where tage supply vol : V
0 = ÷ = A t t e e 
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
24
Impedance in a pure resistor
From the definition of the impedance, hence
t
0
0
I ÷
0
V ÷
0
I
0
V
T
T
2
1 T 2
T
2
3
ω
Figure 8.8a Figure 8.8b: phasor diagram
V
I
R
I
V
I
V
Z = = =
0
0
rms
rms
(8.12)
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
25
Pure capacitor means that no resistance and selfinductance
effect in the AC circuit.
Phase difference between voltage V and current I
Figure 8.9 shows an AC source connected to a pure capacitor
C.
The alternating voltage across the capacitor V
C
at any instant is
equal to the supply voltage V and is given by
8.3.4 Pure capacitor in an AC circuit
Figure 8.9
AC source
C
V
V
C
I
t V V V
C
e sin
0
= =
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
26
The charge accumulates at the plates of the capacitor is
The charge and current are related by
Hence the equation of AC in the capacitor is
C
CV Q =
t CV Q e sin
0
=
dt
dQ
I =
( ) t CV
dt
d
I e sin
0
=
( ) t
dt
d
CV e sin
0
=
t CV e ecos
0
=
0 0
I CV = e
and
t I I e cos
0
=
OR

.

\

+ =
2
sin
0
t
et I I
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
27
Therefore the phase difference between V and I is
In the pure capacitor,
the voltage V lags behind the current I by t/2 radians.
OR
the current I leads the voltage V by t/2 radians.
Figure 8.10a shows the variation of V and I with time while
Figure 8.10b shows the phasor diagram for V and I in a pure
capacitor.

.

\

+ ÷ = A
2
t
e e  t t
rad
2
t
 ÷ = A
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
28
Impedance in a pure capacitor
From the definition of the impedance, hence
Figure 8.10a Figure 8.10b: phasor diagram
0
0
I
V
Z =
t
0
0
I ÷
0
V ÷
0
I
0
V
T
T
2
1 T 2
T
2
3
ω
V
I
rad
2
t
 = A
e
0 0
CV I =
and
e
0
0
CV
V
=
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
29
where X
C
is known as capacitive (capacitative) reactance.
Capacitive reactance is the opposition of a capacitor to the
alternating current flows and is defined by
Capacitive reactance is a scalar quantity and its unit is ohm
(O) .
C
X
C
Z = =
e
1
fC
X
C
t 2
1
=
f t e 2 = and
(8.13)
source AC of frequency : f
capacitor the of e capacitanc : C
0
0
rms
rms
I
V
I
V
X
C
= =
(8.14)
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
30
From the eq. (8.13), the relationship between capacitive
reactance X
C
and frequency f can be shown by using a graph
in Figure 8.11.
f
0
C
X
f
X
C
1
·
Figure 8.11
Pure inductor means that no resistance and capacitance
effect in the AC circuit.
Phase difference between voltage V and current I
Figure 8.12 shows an AC source connected to a pure inductor
L.
8.3.5 Pure inductor in an AC circuit
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
31
The alternating current passes through the inductor is given by
When the AC passes through the inductor, the back emf caused
by the self induction is produced and is given by
AC source
V
I
L
L
V
Figure 8.12
t I I e sin
0
=
dt
dI
L ÷ =
B
c
( ) t I
dt
d
L e sin
0
÷ =
t LI e e c cos
0 B
÷ =
(8.15)
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
32
At any instant, the supply voltage V equals to the back emf c
B
in
the inductor but the back emf always oppose the supply voltage
V represents by the negative sign in the eq. (8.15).Thus
Therefore the phase difference between V and I is
In the pure inductor,
the voltage V leads the current I by t/2 radians.
OR
the current I lags behind the voltage V by t/2 radians.
B
c = V
t LI e ecos
0
=
0 0
V LI = e
and
t V V e cos
0
=
OR

.

\

+ =
2
sin
0
t
et V V
rad
2 2
t
e
t
e  = ÷

.

\

+ = A t t
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
33
Figure 8.13a shows the variation of V and I with time while
Figure 8.13b shows the phasor diagram for V and I in a pure
inductor.
t
0
0
I ÷
0
V ÷
0
I
0
V
T
T
2
1
T 2
T
2
3
ω
V
I
rad
2
t
 = A
Figure 8.13a Figure 8.13b: phasor diagram
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
34
Impedance in a pure inductor
From the definition of the impedance, hence
where X
L
is known as inductive reactance.
0
0
I
V
Z = e
0 0
LI V =
and
0
0
I
LI e
=
L
X L Z = =e
fL X
L
t 2 =
f t e 2 = and
(8.16)
inductor the of inductance  self : L
source AC of frequency : f
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
35
Inductive reactance is the opposition of a inductor to the
alternating current flows and is defined by
Inductive reactance is a scalar quantity and its unit is ohm (O).
From the eq. (8.16), the relationship between inductive
reactance X
L
and the frequency f can be shown by using a
graph in Figure 8.14.
Figure 8.14
f
0
L
X
f X
L
·
0
0
rms
rms
I
V
I
V
X
L
= =
(8.17)
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
36
A capacitor has a rms current of 21 mA at a frequency of 60 Hz
when the rms voltage across it is 14 V.
a. What is the capacitance of the capacitor?
b. If the frequency is increased, will the current in the capacitor
increase, decrease or stay the same? Explain.
c. Calculate the rms current in the capacitor at a frequency of
410 Hz.
Solution :
a. The capacitive reactance of the capacitor is given by
Therefore the capacitance of the capacitor is
Example 3 :
V 14 Hz; 60 A; 10 21
rms
3
rms
= = × =
÷
V f I
C
X I V
rms rms
=
fC
X
C
t 2
1
=
( )
C
X
3
10 21 14
÷
× =
O = 667
C
X
( )C 60 2
1
667
t
=
F 10 98 . 3
6 ÷
× = C
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
37
Solution :
b. The capacitive reactance is inversely proportional to the
frequency, so the capacitive reactance will decrease if the
frequency increases. Since the current in the capacitor is
inversely proportional to the capacitive reactance, therefore
the current will increase when the capacitive reactance
decreases.
c. Given
The capacitive reactance is
Hence the new rms current in the capacitor is given by
V 14 Hz; 60 A; 10 21
rms
3
rms
= = × =
÷
V f I
Hz 410 = f
fC
X
C
t 2
1
=
( )( )
6
10 98 . 3 410 2
1
÷
×
=
t
C
X
O = 5 . 97
C
X
C
X I V
rms rms
= ( ) 5 . 97 14
rms
I =
A 144 . 0
rms
= I
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
38
A rms voltage of 12.2 V with a frequency of 1.00 kHz is applied to a
0.290 mH inductor.
a. What is the rms current in the circuit?
b. Determine the peak current for a frequency of 2.50 kHz.
Solution :
a. The inductive reactance of the inductor is given by
Thus the rms current in the circuit is
Example 4 :
H 10 290 . 0 Hz; 10 00 . 1 V; 2 . 12
3 3
rms
÷
× = × = = L f V
fL X
L
t 2 =
( )( )
3 3
10 290 . 0 10 00 . 1 2
÷
× × = t
O = 82 . 1
L
X
L
X I V
rms rms
=
( ) 82 . 1 2 . 12
rms
I =
A 70 . 6
rms
= I
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
39
Solution :
b. Given
The inductive reactance of the inductor is given by
Thus the peak current in the circuit is
H 10 290 . 0 Hz; 10 00 . 1 V; 2 . 12
3 3
rms
÷
× = × = = L f V
Hz 10 50 . 2
3
× = f
fL X
L
t 2 =
( )( )
3 3
10 290 . 0 10 50 . 2 2
÷
× × = t
O = 56 . 4
L
X
L
X I V
0 0
=
( ) 56 . 4 2 2 . 12
0
I =
A 78 . 3
0
= I
and
2
rms 0
V V =
L
X I V
0 rms
2 =
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
40
RC series circuit
Consider an AC source of rms voltage V is connected in series
to a resistor R and a capacitor C as shown in Figure 8.15a.
The rms current I passes through the resistor and the
capacitor is equal because of the series connection between
both components.
8.3.5 RC, RL and RCL series circuit
AC source
R
I
R
V
V
C
V
C
Figure 8.15a
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
41
I
The rms voltages across the resistor V
R
and the capacitor
V
C
are given by
The phasor diagram of the RC series circuit is shown in Figure
8.15b.
Based on the phasor diagram, the rms supply voltage V (or total
voltage) of the circuit is given by
IR V
R
=
and
C C
IX V =
where angle phase : 

ω
C
V
R
V
V
Figure 8.15b: phasor diagram
is an angle between the rms
current I and rms supply (or
total) voltage V of AC circuit.
2 2
C R
V V V + = ( ) ( )
2 2
C
IX IR V + =
2
2
C
X R I V + =
(8.18)
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
42
Rearrange the eq. (8.18), thus the impedance of RC series
circuit is
From the phasor diagram in Figure 8.15b , the current I leads
the supply voltage V by  radians where
A phasor diagram in terms of R, X
C
and Z is illustrated in Figure
8.15c.
I
V
Z =
and
2
2
C
X R
I
V
+ =
2
2
C
X R Z + =
(8.19)
R
C
V
V
=  tan
IR
IX
C
=  tan
R
X
C
=  tan
(8.20)

ω
C
X
Z
R
Figure 8.15c
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
43
RL series circuit
Consider an AC source of rms voltage V is connected in series
to a resistor R and an inductor L as shown in Figure 8.16a.
The rms voltages across the resistor V
R
and the inductor V
L
are given by
AC source
R
I
R
V
V
L
L
V
Figure 8.16a
IR V
R
=
and
L L
IX V =
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
44
The phasor diagram of the RL series circuit is shown in Figure
8.16b.
Based on the phasor diagram, the rms supply voltage V (or total
voltage) of the circuit is given by

ω
L
V
V
I
Figure 8.16b: phasor diagram
R
V
2 2
L R
V V V + =
( ) ( )
2 2
L
IX IR + =
2
2
L
X R I V + =
(8.21)
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
45
Rearrange the eq. (8.21), thus the impedance of RL series
circuit is
From the phasor diagram in Figure 8.16b , the supply voltage
V leads the current I the by  radians where
The phasor diagram in terms of R, X
L
and Z is illustrated in
Figure 8.16c.
I
V
Z =
and
2
2
L
X R
I
V
+ =
2
2
L
X R Z + =
(8.22)
R
L
V
V
=  tan
IR
IX
L
=  tan
R
X
L
=  tan
(8.23)
Figure 8.16c

ω
L
X
Z
R
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
46
RCL series circuit
Consider an AC source of rms voltage V is connected in series
to a resistor R, a capacitor C and an inductor L as shown in
Figure 8.17a.
The rms voltages across the resistor V
R
, the capacitor V
C
and the inductor V
L
are given by
Figure 8.17a
IR V
R
=
and
C C
IX V =
AC source
I
V
R
R
V
C
V
C L
L
V
L L
IX V =
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
47
The phasor diagram of the RL series circuit is shown in Figure
8.17b.
Based on the phasor diagram, the rms supply voltage V (or total
voltage) of the circuit is given by
I
Figure 8.17b: phasor diagram
( )
2 2
C L R
V V V V ÷ + =
( ) ( )
2 2
C L
IX IX IR ÷ + =
( )
2
2
C L
X X R I V ÷ + =
(8.24)

ω
L
V
R
V
V
C
V
( )
C L
V V ÷
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
48
Rearrange the eq. (8.24), thus the impedance of RL series
circuit is
From the phasor diagram in Figure 8.17b , the supply voltage
V leads the current I the by  radians where
I
V
Z =
and
( )
2
2
C L
X X R
I
V
÷ + =
( )
2
2
C L
X X R Z ÷ + =
(8.25)
R
C L
V
V V ÷
=  tan
( )
IR
IX IX
C L
÷
=
R
X X
C L
÷
=  tan
(8.26)
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
49
The phasor diagram in terms of R, X
C
, X
L
and Z is illustrated in
Figure 8.17c.
Figure 8.17c

ω
L
X
Z
C
X
( )
C L
X X ÷
R
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
50
is defined as the phenomenon that occurs when the
frequency of the applied voltage is equal to the frequency
of the RCL series circuit.
Figure 8.18 shows the variation of X
C
, X
L
, R and Z with
frequency f of the RCL series circuit.
8.3.6 Resonance in AC circuit
Z
f X
L
·
R
f
X
C
1
·
0
f
Z R X X
L C
, , ,
r
f
Figure 8.18
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
51
From Figure 8.18, the value of impedance is minimum Z
min
when
where its value is given by
This phenomenon occurs at the frequency f
r
known as
resonant frequency.
At resonance in the RCL series circuit, the impedance is
minimum Z
min
thus the rms current flows in the circuit is
maximum I
max
and is given by
C L
X X =
(8.27)
( )
2
2
C L
X X R Z ÷ + =
0
2
min
+ = R Z
R Z =
min
R
V
Z
V
I = =
min
max
(8.28)
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
52
max
I
Figure 8.19 shows the rms current I in RCL series circuit varies
with frequency.
At frequencies above or below the resonant frequency f
r
,
the rms current I is less than the rms maximum current I
max
as shown in Figure 8.19.
0
f
I
r
f
Figure 8.19
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
53
The resonant frequency, f
r
of the RCL series circuit is given by
The series resonance circuit is used for tuning a radio
receiver.
C L
X X =
C
L
e
e
1
=
LC
1
2
= e
r
2 f t e =
and
( )
LC
f
1
2
2
r
= t
LC
f
t 2
1
r
=
(8.29)
where frequency angular resonant : ω
Note:
At resonance, the current I and voltage V are in phase.
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
54
A 2 µF capacitor and a 1000 O resistor are placed in series with an
alternating voltage source of 12 V and frequency of 50 Hz.
Calculate
a. the current flowing,
b. the voltage across the capacitor,
c. the phase angle of the circuit.
Solution :
a. The capacitive reactance of the inductor is given by
and the impedance of the circuit is
Example 5 :
Hz 50 V; 12 ; 1000 F; 10 2
6
= = O = × =
÷
f V R C
fC
X
C
t 2
1
=
( )( )
6
10 2 50 2
1
÷
×
=
t
C
X
O = 1592
C
X
2
2
C
X R Z + =
( ) ( )
2 2
1592 1000 + = Z
O = 1880 Z
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
55
Solution :
a. Therefore the current flowing in the circuit is
b. The voltage across the capacitor is given by
c. The phase angle between the current and supply voltage is
( ) 1880 12 I =
A 10 38 . 6
3 ÷
× = I
C C
IX V =
( )( ) 1592 10 38 . 6
3 ÷
× =
V 2 . 10 =
C
V
Hz 50 V; 12 ; 1000 F; 10 2
6
= = O = × =
÷
f V R C
IZ V =
R
X
C
=  tan

.

\

=
÷
1000
1592
tan
1
rad 01 . 1 = 

.

\

=
÷
R
X
C
1
tan 
OR
9 . 57
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
56
Based on the RCL series circuit in Figure 8.20 , the rms voltages
across R, L and C are shown.
a. With the aid of the phasor diagram, determine the applied voltage
and the phase angle of the circuit.
Calculate:
b. the current flows in the circuit if the resistance of the resistor R is
26 O,
c. the inductance and capacitance if the frequency of the AC source
is 50 Hz,
d. the resonant frequency.
Example 6 :
C
R
L
V 314 V 153 V 115
I
Figure 8.20
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
57
Solution :
a. The phasor diagram of the circuit is
and the phase angle  is
V 314 ; V 115 V; 153 = = =
L C R
V V V

ω
L
V
I
R
V
V
C
V
( )
C L
V V ÷
From the phasor diagram,
the applied voltage V is
( )
2 2
C L R
V V V V ÷ + =
( ) ( )
2 2
115 314 153 ÷ + =
V 251 = V
R
C L
V
V V ÷
=  tan

.

\

÷
=
÷
153
115 314
tan
1
rad 915 . 0 = 


.

\

÷
=
÷
R
C L
V
V V
1
tan 
OR
4 . 52
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
58
Solution :
b. Given
Since R, C and L are connected in series, hence the current
passes through each devices is the same. Therefore
c. Given
The inductive reactance is
thus the inductance of the inductor is
V 314 ; V 115 V; 153 = = =
L C R
V V V
IR V
R
=
( )
L
X 88 . 5 314 =
A 88 . 5 = I
( ) 26 153 I =
O = 26 R
L L
IX V =
Hz 50 = f
O = 4 . 53
L
X
( )L 50 2 4 . 53 t =
fL X
L
t 2 =
H 170 . 0 = L
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
59
Solution :
c. Meanwhile, the capacitive reactance is
thus the capacitance of the capacitor is
d. The resonant frequency is given by
V 314 ; V 115 V; 153 = = =
L C R
V V V
( )
C
X 88 . 5 115 =
C C
IX V =
O = 6 . 19
C
X
fC
X
C
t 2
1
=
F 10 62 . 1
4 ÷
× = C
( )C 50 2
1
6 . 19
t
=
( )( )
4
10 62 . 1 170 . 0 2
1
÷
×
=
t
LC
f
t 2
1
r
=
Hz 3 . 30
r
= f
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
60
Exercise 8.1 :
1. An AC current of angular frequency of 1.0 × 10
4
rad s
÷1
flows
through a 10 kO resistor and a 0.10 µF capacitor which are
connected in series. Calculate the rms voltage across the
capacitor if the rms voltage across the resistor is 20 V.
ANS. : 2.0 V
2. A 200 O resistor, a 0.75 H inductor and a capacitor of
capacitance C are connected in series to an alternating
source 250 V, 600 Hz. Calculate
a. the inductive reactance and capacitive reactance when
resonance is occurred.
b. the capacitance C.
c. the impedance of the circuit at resonance.
d. the current flows through the circuit at resonance. Sketch
the phasor diagram of the circuit.
ANS. : 2.83 kO, 2.83 kO; 93.8 nF; 200 O; 1.25 A
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
61
Exercise 8.1 :
3. A capacitor of capacitance C, a coil of inductance L, a resistor
of resistance R and a lamp of negligible resistance are placed
in series with alternating voltage V. Its frequency f is varied
from a low to a high value while the magnitude of V is kept
constant.
a. Describe and explain how the brightness of the lamp varies.
b. If V=0.01 V, C =0.4 µF, L =0.4 H, R = 10 O and the
circuit at resonance, calculate
i. the resonant frequency,
ii. the maximum rms current,
iii. the voltage across the capacitor.
(Advanced Level Physics,7
th
edition, Nelkon & Parker, Q2, p.423)
ANS. : 400 Hz; 0.001 A; 1 V
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
62
At the end of this chapter, students should be able to:
Apply
average power,
instantaneous power,
power factor,
in AC circuit consisting of R, RC, RL and RCL in series.
Learning Outcome:
8.4 Power and power factor (1 hour)
w
w
w
.
k
m
p
h
.
m
a
t
r
i
k
.
e
d
u
.
m
y
/
p
h
y
s
i
c
s
 cos
av
IV P =
dt
dW
P =
IV
P
P
P
av
a
r
cos = = 
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
63
8.4.1 Power of a pure resistor
In a pure resistor, the voltage V and current I are in phase,
thus the instantaneous power P is given by
Figure 8.21 shows a graph of instantaneous power P being
absorbed by the resistor against time t.
8.4 Power and power factor
( )( ) t V t I e e sin sin
0 0
=
IV P =
t V I e
2
0 0
sin =
0 0 0
P V I =
and
t P P e
2
0
sin =
(8.30)
where power um) peak(maxim :
0
P
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
64
The average (or mean) power P
av
being absorbed by the
resistor is given by
ωt P P
2
0
sin =
Power being absorbed
Figure 8.21
av
P
t P P e
2
0 av
sin =
0 0 0 av
2
1
2
1
V I P P = =
0
P
2
0
P
t
0
P
T
T
2
1
T 2
T
2
3
(8.31)
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
65
In a pure capacitor, the current I leads the voltage V by t/2
radians, thus the instantaneous power P is given by
Figure 8.22 shows a graph of instantaneous power P of the pure
capacitor against time t.
8.4.2 Power of a pure capacitor
( )( ) t V t I e e sin cos
0 0
=
IV P =
t t V I e e cos sin
0 0
=
t P P e 2 sin
2
1
0
=
(8.32)
t t t e e e 2 sin
2
1
cos sin = and
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
66
The average (or mean) power P
av
of the pure capacitor is given
by
ωt P P 2 sin
2
1
0
=
Power being absorbed
Figure 8.22
av
P
t P P e 2 sin
2
1
0 av
=
0
av
= P
2
0
P
t
0
P
T
T
2
1
T 2
T
2
3
2
0
P
÷
Power being returned to supply
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
67
In a pure inductor, the voltage V leads the current I by t/2
radians, thus the instantaneous power P is given by
Figure 8.23 shows a graph of instantaneous power P of the pure
inductor against time t.
8.4.3 Power of a pure inductor
( )( ) t V t I e e cos sin
0 0
=
IV P =
t t V I e e cos sin
0 0
=
t P P e 2 sin
2
1
0
=
t t t e e e 2 sin
2
1
cos sin = and
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
68
The average (or mean) power P
av
of the pure inductor is given
by
ωt P P 2 sin
2
1
0
=
Power being absorbed
Figure 8.23
av
P
t P P e 2 sin
2
1
0 av
= 0
av
= P
2
0
P
t
0
P
T
T
2
1
T 2
T
2
3
Power being returned to supply
Note:
The term ‘resistance’ is not used in pure capacitor and inductor because no
heat is dissipated from both devices.
2
0
P
÷
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
69
In an AC circuit in which there is a resistor R, an inductor L and
a capacitor C, the average power P
av
is equal to that dissipated
from the resistor i.e.
From the phasor diagram of the RCL series circuit as shown in
Figure 8.24,
8.4.4 Power and power factor of R, RC, RL and
RCL series circuits
R I IV P
R
2
av
= =
(8.33)
rms values

ω
L
V
I
R
V
V
C
V
( )
C L
V V ÷
Figure 8.24
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
70
We get
then the eq. (8.33 ) can be written as
where cos  is called the power factor of the AC circuit, P
r
is
the average real power and I
2
Z is called the apparent power.
Power factor is defined as
 cos V V
R
=
V
V
R
=  cos
 cos
av
IV P = IZ V =
and
r
2
av
cos P Z I P = = 
(8.34)
a
r
2
r
cos
P
P
Z I
P
= = 
(8.35)
where IV Z I P = =
2
a
power apparent :
Note:
From the Figure 8.24, the power factor also can be calculated by using the
equation below:
IZ
IR
V
V
R
= =  cos
Z
R
=  cos
(8.36)
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
71
A 100 µF capacitor, a 4.0 H inductor and a 35 O resistor are
connected in series with an alternating source given by the
equation below:
Calculate:
a. the frequency of the source,
b. the capacitive reactance and inductive reactance,
c. the impedance of the circuit,
d. the peak current in the circuit,
e. the phase angle,
f. the power factor of the circuit.
Example 7 :
t V 100 sin 520 =
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
72
Solution :
By comparing
Thus
a. The frequency of AC source is given by
b. The capacitive reactance is
and the inductive reactance is
H 0 . 4 F; 10 100 ; 35
6
= × = O =
÷
L C R
f t e 2 =
Hz 9 . 15 = f
f t 2 100 =
t V 100 sin 520 =
to the
t V V e sin
0
=
1
0
s rad 100 V; 520
÷
= = e V
fC
X
C
t 2
1
=
O = 100
C
X
( )( )
6
10 100 9 . 15 2
1
÷
×
=
t
C
X
fL X
L
t 2 =
O = 400
L
X
( )( ) 0 . 4 9 . 15 2t =
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
73
Solution :
c. The impedance of the circuit is
d. The peak current in the circuit is
H 0 . 4 F; 10 100 ; 35
6
= × = O =
÷
L C R
( )
2
2
C L
X X R Z ÷ + =
( ) ( )
2 2
100 400 35 ÷ + =
O = 302 Z
Z I V
0 0
=
( ) 302 520
0
I =
A 72 . 1
0
= I
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
74
Solution :
e. The phase angle between the current and the supply voltage is
f. The power factor of the circuit is given by
H 0 . 4 F; 10 100 ; 35
6
= × = O =
÷
L C R
R
X X
C L
÷
=  tan

.

\

÷
=
÷
35
100 400
tan
1
rad 45 . 1 = 

.

\

÷
=
÷
R
X X
C L
1
tan 
OR
3 . 83
 cos factor power =
3 83 cos . =
117 . 0 factor power =
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
75
A 22.5 mH inductor, a 105 O resistor and a 32.3 µF capacitor are
connected in series to the alternating source 240 V, 50 Hz.
a. Sketch the phasor diagram for the circuit.
b. Calculate the power factor of the circuit.
c. Determine the average power consumed by the circuit.
Solution :
a. The capacitive reactance is
and the inductive reactance is
Example 8 :
fC
X
C
t 2
1
=
O = 6 . 98
C
X
( )( )
6
10 3 . 32 50 2
1
÷
×
=
t
C
X
fL X
L
t 2 =
O = 07 . 7
L
X
( )( )
3
10 5 . 22 50 2
÷
× = t
H 10 5 . 22 F; 10 3 . 32 ; 105
3 6 ÷ ÷
× = × = O = L C R
Hz 50 V; 240 = = f V
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
76
Solution :
a. Thus the phasor diagram for the circuit is
b. From the phasor diagram in (a),
the impedance of the circuit is
H 10 5 . 22 F; 10 3 . 32 ; 105
3 6 ÷ ÷
× = × = O = L C R
Hz 50 V; 240 = = f V

ω
Z
L
X
C
X
R
( )
L C
X X ÷
( )
2
2
L C
X X R Z ÷ + =
( ) ( )
2 2
07 . 7 6 . 98 105 ÷ + =
O = 139 Z
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
77
Solution :
b. and the power factor of the circuit is
c. The average power consumed by the circuit is given by
H 10 5 . 22 F; 10 3 . 32 ; 105
3 6 ÷ ÷
× = × = O = L C R
Hz 50 V; 240 = = f V
Z
R
=  cos
755 . 0 cos = 
139
105
cos = 
 cos
av
IV P =
Z
V
I =
and
 cos
2
Z
V
=
( )
( ) 755 . 0
139
240
2
=
W 313
av
= P
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
78
Exercise 8.2 :
1. An RLC circuit has a resistance of 105 O, an inductance of
85.0 mH and a capacitance of 13.2 µF.
a. What is the power factor of the circuit if it is connected to a
125 Hz AC generator?
b. Will the power factor increase, decrease or stay the same
if the resistance is increased? Explain.
(Physics, 3
rd
edition, James S. Walker, Q47, p.834)
ANS. : 0.962; U think
2. A 1.15 kO resistor and a 505 mH inductor are connected in
series to a 14.2 V,1250 Hz AC generator.
a. What is the rms current in the circuit?
b. What is the capacitance’s value must be inserted in series
with the resistor and inductor to reduce the rms current to
half of the value in part (a)?
(Physics, 3
rd
edition, James S. Walker, Q69, p.835)
ANS. : 3.44 mA, 10.5 nF
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
79
At the end of this chapter, students should be able to:
Explain halfwave and full wave rectification by using a
circuit diagram and Vt graph.
Explain the smoothing of rectified output voltage by
capacitor by using a circuit diagram and Vt graph.
Learning Outcome:
8.5 Rectification (1 hour)
w
w
w
.
k
m
p
h
.
m
a
t
r
i
k
.
e
d
u
.
m
y
/
p
h
y
s
i
c
s
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
80
is defined as the process of converting alternating current to
direct current.
Rectifier:
is a device that allows current to flow in one direction
only.
diodes are usually used as rectifiers.
Diode is said to be forward biased when positive terminal of
the diode connected to the positive terminal of the battery and
vice versa, hence a current will be able to flow (Figure 8.25a).
8.5 Rectification
+
+ 

I I
Diode
Figure 8.25a: forward biased
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
81
Diode is said to be reverse biased when positive terminal of
the diode connected to the negative terminal of the battery
and vice versa, hence no current flows (Figure 8.25b).
There are two types of rectification i.e.
halfwave
fullwave
+
+ 

0 = I
Figure 8.25b: reverse biased
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
82
Halfwave rectification means that only one half of an AC
cycle can pass through the rectifier (diode).
Figure 8.26a shows a halfwave rectification circuit.
8.5.1 Halfwave rectification
t
0
T T 2
R
V
0
V ÷
0
V
0
V ÷
0
V
0
V ÷
0
V
t
0
T
T 2
V tage, supply vol
R
V
D
V
D
R
A
B
supply
voltage, V
Figure 8.26a
Figure 8.26b
Figure 8.26c
Figure 8.26d
t
0
T
T 2
D
V
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
83
Explanation:
First half cycle (Figure 8.26b)
When terminal A is positive, diode is forward biased and
offers low resistance such that a pulse of current flows
through the circuit.
There is negligible voltage across the diode, V
D
(Figure
8.26c).
Thus the voltage across the resistor, V
R
is almost equal to
the supply voltage (Figure 8.26d).
Next half cycle (Figure 8.26b)
When terminal B is positive, diode is now reverse biased and
has a very high resistance such that a very small current
flows through it.
The voltage across the diode, V
D
is almost equal to the
supply voltage (Figure 8.26c).
The voltage across the resistor, V
R
is almost zero (Figure
8.26d).
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
84
An alternating voltage is thus rectified to give direct current
voltage across the resistor. The current flows through the
resistor in one direction only and only half of each cycle cab
pass through the diode as shown in Figure 8.26e.
Rms value after halfwave rectification:
In the halfwave rectification, half of the supply voltage is
suppressed and therefore the mean square voltage is given by
t
0
T
T 2
I
0
I ÷
0
I
2
1
Mean square value
after rectification
=
×
Mean square value
before rectification
rect.) wave half before (
2
rect.) wave half (
2
2
1
÷ ÷
= V V
Figure 8.26e
t V e
2
2
0
sin
2
1
=
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
85
Therefore the rms voltage of the halfwave rectification is
given by
In the similar way as to find the rms voltage of halfwave
rectification, the rms current of halfwave rectification is given
by
4 2 2
1
2
0
2
0
rect.) wave half (
2
V V
V =


.

\

=
÷
rect.) wave half (
2
rms
÷
= V V
4
2
0
V
=
2
0
rms
V
V =
(8.37)
2
0
rms
I
I =
(8.38)
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
86
The halfwave rectification only allows half of each AC cycle to
pass through the diode, but the fullwave rectification allows
both halves of each AC cycle to pass through the diode.
To obtain fullwave rectification, four diode are used and are
arranged in a form known as the diode bridge.
Figure 8.27a shows a fullwave rectification circuit.
8.5.2 Fullwave rectification
0
V
0
V ÷
T
T 2
t
0
( ) V tage supply vol
0
V
t
0
T
T 2
R
V
Figure 8.27a
Figure 8.27b
Figure 8.27c
A
R
V
V
supply
voltage,
F
B
C
D
E
1
2
3
4
R
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
87
Explanation
First half cycle (Figure 8.27b)
When terminal A is positive, diodes 1 and 2 are forward
biased and conduct the current.
The current takes the path ABC, R and DEF.
Diodes 3 and 4 are reverse biased and hence do not
conduct the current.
The voltages across diodes 1 and 2 are negligible, the
voltage across the resistor V
R
is almost equal to the supply
voltage (Figure 8.27c)
Next half cycle (Figure 8.27b)
When terminal F is positive, diodes 3 and 4 are forward
biased and conduct the current.
The path taken by the current is FEC, R and DBA.
Diodes 1 and 2 are reverse biased and hence, do not
conduct the current.
The voltage across the resistor is again almost equal to the
supply voltage (Figure 8.27c).
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
88
Both halves of the alternating voltage are rectified. The current
flowing through the resistor is in one direction only i.e. a varying
DC is obtained as shown in Figure 8.27d.
Rms value after fullwave rectification
Notice that the negative side of supply voltage is flipped over to
become positive side without being suppressed, thus the rms
voltage and current of fullwave rectification are the same as
the rms voltage and current of supply voltage and given by
t
0
0
I
T
T 2
I
Figure 8.27d
2
0
rms
V
V =
and
2
0
rms
I
I =
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
89
The output obtained from halfwave and fullwave rectifications
are unidirectional but varying DC.
Usually a steady (constant) DC is required for operating various
electrical and electronic appliances. To change a varying DC
into a steady (constant) DC, smoothing is necessary.
A simple smoothing circuit consists of a capacitor ( with a large
capacitance >16 F) connected parallel to the resistor R as
shown in Figure 8.28.
The capacitor functions as a reservoir to store charges.
8.5.3 Smoothing using Capacitor
+
R
output
V V
R
=
C

Rectified unsmoothed
voltage, V
I
Figure 8.28
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
90
Smoothing of a halfwave rectified voltage
Figure 8.29 shows an effects of smoothing a halfwave rectified
voltage.
Initially, the halfwave rectified input voltage V causes the
current to flow through the resistor R. At the same time,
capacitor C becomes charged to almost the peak value of the
input voltage.
At A (Figure 8.29), input V (dash line) falls below output V
R
, the
capacitor C starts to discharge through the resistor R. Hence
the current flow is maintained because of capacitor’s action.
A
B
Rectified unsmooth input
voltage, V
( )
output
V V
R
Smoothed voltage, V
R
Discharge
Charge
t , time
Figure 8.29
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
91
Along AB (Figure 8.29), V output falls. At B, the rectified current
again flows to recharge the capacitor C to the peak of the input
voltage V.
This process is repeated and hence the output voltage V
R
across the resistor R will look like the variation shown in figure
8.29.
Smoothing of a fullwave rectified voltage
Figure 8.30 shows an effects of smoothing a fullwave rectified
voltage.
A
B
Rectified unsmooth input
voltage, V
( )
output
V V
R
Smoothed voltage, V
R
Discharge
Charge
t , time
Figure 8.30
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
92
The explanation of the smoothing process likes for a halfwave
rectified voltage.
The fluctuations of the smoothed output voltage are must
less compare to the halfwave rectified.
The smoothing action of the capacitor is due to the large time
constant t, given by RC so the output voltage cannot fall as
rapidly as the rectified unsmoothed input voltage.
Therefore a large capacitor performs greater smoothing.
However, an initially uncharged capacitor may cause a sudden
surge of current through the circuit and damage the diode.
PHYSICS CHAPTER 8
93
Next Chapter…
CHAPTER 9 :
Quantization of light
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