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The concept of current as the transfer of positive charge, so that its direction of flow is opposite to that of electrons which are negatively charged.

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A tidal current that flows continually, with the direction of flow changing through 360° during the tidal period. Rotary currents are usually found offshore where the direction of flow is not restricted by any barriers. The tendency for rotation is due to the Coriolis force and, unless modified by local conditions, is clock- wise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. The speed of the current usually varies throughout the tidal cycle, passing through the two maxima in approximately opposite directions and the two minima with the direction of the current at approximately 90° from the direction at time of maximum speed.


An emf induced in a conductor by a change in current flow in the conductor. The cemf induced is in the direction opposite to the emf that caused the current flow.


A tidal current which flows alternately in approximately opposite directions with a slack water at each reversal of direction. Currents of this type usually occur in rivers and straits where the direction of flow is somewhat restricted to certain channels. When the movement is towards the shore or up a stream the current is said to be flooding, and when in the opposite direction it is said to be ebbing. The combined flood and ebb movement including the slack water covers, on an average, 12.4. hours for the semidiurnal current. If unaffected by a nontidal flow, the flood and ebb movements will each last about 6 hours, but when combined with such a flow, the durations of flood and ebb may be quite unequal. During the low in each direction the speed of the current will vary from zero at the time of slack water to a maximum about midway between the slacks. Also called RECTILINEAR CURRENT.


A northward flowing current through the eastern half of the Bering Sea, through Bering Strait, and in the eastern Chukchi Sea. The current speed in the Bering Sea is estimated to be usually 0.5 knot or less but at times as high as 1.0 knot. In the Bering Strait, current speeds frequently reach 2 knots. However, in the eastern half of the strait, currents are even stronger and usually range between 1.0 and 2.5 knots. Strong southerly winds may increase current speeds in the strait to 3 knots, and up to 4 knots in the eastern part. Persistent, strong northerly winds during autumn may cause the current to reverse direction for short periods. During winter a southward flow may occur in the western part of the strait. After flowing through Bering Strait, the current widens, and part contin- ues toward Point Barrow, where it turns northwestward. Along the Alaska coast, current t speeds have been observed to range between 0.1 and 1.5 knots and increase to 2.0 or 2.5 knots with southerly winds. In the western part of the Chukchi Sea, currents are consid- erably weaker and do not usually exceed 0.5 knot.


A current produced by the movement of free electrons toward a positive terminal; the direction of electron flow is opposite to that of current.


  1. The field of influence which an electric current produces around the conductor through which it flows. 2. A rapidly moving electric field and its associated magnetic field located at right angles to both electric lines of force and to their direction of motion. 3. The magnetic field resulting from the flow of electricity.


An emf induced in a conductor by a change in current flow in the conductor. The cemf induced is in the direction opposite to the emf that caused the current flow.


The state of a tidal current when its speed is near zero, especially the moment when a reversing current changes direction and its speed is zero. The term is also applied to the entire period of low speed near the time of turning of the current when it is too weak to be of any practical importance in navigation. The relation of the time of slack water to the tidal phases varies in different localities. For standing tidal waves, slack water occurs near the times of high and low water, while for progressive tidal waves, slack water occurs midway between high and low water.


Originating mainly from Oslofjord outflow, counterclockwise return flow of the Jutland Current within the Skaggerak, and outflow from the Kattegat, the Norway Coastal Current begins at about latitude 59°N, longitude 10°E and follows the coast of Norway, and is about 20 miles in width. Speeds are strongest off the southeast coast of Norway, where they frequently range between 1 and 2 knots. Along the remainder of the coast the current gradually weakens. It may widen to almost 30 miles at about latitude 63°N, where it joins the NORWAY CURRENT. South of latitude 62°N the current speed usually ranges between 0.4 and 0.9 knots. Speeds are generally stronger in spring and summer, when the flow is augmented by increased discharge from fjords.


The electrical resistance offered by a material to the flow of current, times the cross-sectional area of current flow and per unit length of current path; the reciprocal of the conductivity. Also known as resistivity; specific resistance.

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