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Dictionary of Electrical Engineering

Commonly used terms in the Electrical industry.

ambient temperature
the temperature of the air or liquid surrounding any electrical part or device. Usually refers to the effect of such temperature in aiding or retarding removal of heat by radiation and convection from the part or device in question.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
The U.S. organization that recommends standards for metrology, drawing
symbology and numerous other facets for products and industries.

ammeter
an instrument for measuring electric current in amperes.

amortisseur winding
See damper winding
ampacity
the maximum current which can be safely carried by a conductor under specified conditions.

ampere interrupting rating
the interrupting rating of a device expressed in amps (often rms symmetrical amps).
See MVA interrupting rating
Ampere, Andre Marie (1775–1836)
Born: Lyon, France
Ampere is best known for his pioneering work in the field of Electrodynamics. During his emotionally troubled life, he held several professorships: at Bourg, Lyon, and at the Ecole Polytechnic in Paris. While Ampere worked in several sciences, the work of the Danish physicist Hans Christian Oerstad on the electric deflection of a compass needle, as demonstrated to him by Dominique Arago, caused Ampere’s great interest in electromagnetism.
His seminal work, Notes on the Theory of Electrodynamic Phenomena Deduced Solely from Experiment, established the mathematical formulations for electromagnetics including what is now known as Ampere’s Law. It can be said that Ampere founded the field of electromagnetics. He is honored for this by the naming of the unit of electric current as the ampere.
amplidyne
a special generator that acts like a DC power amplifier by using compensation coils and a short circuit across its brushes to precisely and fastly control high powers with low level control signals.

analog-to-digital (A/D)
conversion a method by which a continuously varying signal (voltage) is sampled at regularly occurring intervals. Each sample is quantized to a discrete value by comparisons to preestablished reference levels. These quantized samples are then formatted to the required digital output (e.g., binary pulse code words).
The A/D converter is “clocked” to provide updated outputs at regular intervals. In order not to lose any baseband information, sampling must occur at a rate higher than twice the highest incoming signal frequency component.

analog-to-digital (A/D)
converter a device that changes an analog signal to a digital signal of corresponding magnitude. This device is also called an encoder, ADC, or A/C converter.

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