# Basic Question concerning what Amps are?

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#### BStevieG

Feb 7, 2016
2
Could someone help my understanding? I'm not clear on what amps are. Are they the rate or speed at which the current flows in a direction through the wire? Or is it the amount of current in the wire? Is it a situation of volume or a situation of directional speed? Somebody please help me because I'm not clear. Thanks in advance.

#### davenn

Moderator
Sep 5, 2009
14,142
Or is it the amount of current in the wire?

yes
from wiki....

The ampere (SI unit symbol: A), often shortened to "amp",[1] is the SI unit of electric current[2][3] (dimension symbol: I)[4] and is one of the seven[5] SI base units. It is named after André-Marie Ampère (1775–1836), French mathematician and physicist, considered the father of electrodynamics.

The ampere is equivalent to one coulomb (roughly 7018624100000000000♠6.241×1018 electrons) per second.[6] Amperes are used to express flow rate of electric charge. For any point experiencing a current, if the number of charged particles passing through it — or the charge on the particles passing through it — is increased, the amperes of current at that point will proportionately increase.

The ampere should not be confused with the coulomb (also called "ampere-second") or the ampere-hour (A⋅h). The ampere is a unit of current, the amount of charge transiting per unit time, and the coulomb is a unit of charge. When SI units are used, constant, instantaneous and average current are expressed in amperes (as in "the charging current is 1.2 A") and the charge accumulated, or passed through a circuit over a period of time is expressed in coulombs (as in "the battery charge is 7004300000000000000♠30000 C"). The relation of the ampere to the coulomb is the same as that of the watt to the joule, and that of metre per second to metre.

cheers
Dave

#### dorke

Jun 20, 2015
2,342
As davenn pointed out .....
Electric Current is defined in ampere units [C/sec].
Basically it is the amount of electric charge in coulombs per second.
It is the amount of current in a wire at any given time.
i.e this can be a function of time i(t),not necessarily constant.

You could say it is the situation of the first derivative of charge[q] in time di= dq/dt .

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#### Ratch

Mar 10, 2013
1,098
Could someone help my understanding?
I can.
I'm not clear on what amps are..
Why not? There is plenty of information on the net and in textbooks that explain it. Is there some aspect of what you studied that you don't understand?

Are they the rate or speed at which the current flows in a direction through the wire?
Hmm. It appears that you did not study what amps are. First of all, you are using technical slang when you say current flow. Everybody does it. Current is the rate of charge flow. Saying "current flow" is like saying "charge flow flow", which is redundant and ridiculous. You should instead say "current exists" or "current is present".

Or is it the amount of current in the wire?
Since current is a rate of charge flow, it is syntactically incorrect to refer to the amp rate as an amount, like a material quantity. Just like it is wrong to say "amount of speed". You should instead say "low amps", "high amps", or "amp rate".

Is it a situation of volume or a situation of directional speed?
Volume has nothing to do with amps. Amps are a vector quantity, they have magnitude and direction.

You should be now.

Ratch

#### Colin Mitchell

Aug 31, 2014
1,416
When you feel a wire and it gets hot. You are feeling the AMPS.

#### Ratch

Mar 10, 2013
1,098
When you feel a wire and it gets hot. You are feeling the AMPS.
Why amps? Why not the lack of resistance. If the wire was a superconductor, then no amount of current would produce heat.

Ratch

#### Colin Mitchell

Aug 31, 2014
1,416
If the wire was a superconductor, it would be so cold that your hand would freeze to the wire and not feel anything.
"Why amps? Why not the lack of resistance. "
You are just trying to make things complex for the beginner. No wonder he doesn't understand anything you are saying.

#### davenn

Moderator
Sep 5, 2009
14,142

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