ELECTRICAL ANIMATIONS: Electrons moving in DC and AC circuits.
A simple circuit carries electrons (glowing balls). As the electrons move, they generate a magnetic field (blue glow). The battery produces a smooth and continuous flow (DC, or direct current). The AC generator (off the screen to the top) alternates, causing the electrons to shunt back and forth, creating a waxing and waning magnetic field.
LICENCE THIS ANIMATION
Conceptual animation illustrating the difference between AC and DC.
The top wire carries a continuous direct current (DC). The bottom wire carries an alternating current (AC). The blue glows represent the magnetic fields arising from the moving charges. DC current typically comes from a battery, while AC is supplied in mains electricity. The glowing balls represent electrons that carry a single negative charge. There is an electron drift during current flow in a wire, but the actual movement of the electrons is much more complex than shown here.