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ERIC Number: EJ859361
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 16
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Three-Phase and Six-Phase AC at the Lab Bench
Caplan, George M.
Physics Teacher, v47 n6 p380-384 Sep 2009
Utility companies generate three-phase electric power, which consists of three sinusoidal voltages with phase angles of 0 degrees, 120 degrees, and 240 degrees. The ac generators described in most introductory textbooks are single-phase generators, so physics students are not likely to learn about three-phase power. I have developed a simple way to display the waveforms of the three-phase power supplied to my lab and to demonstrate an interesting feature of three-phase power. The waveform displays require three small transformers, a Vernier Lab Pro[R] data-collection device, and a computer; but the demonstration requires only the transformers and some miniature light bulbs. I have also developed a way to demonstrate how six-phase ac can be derived from three-phase ac.
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A