A transformer is a device used for converting the voltage of electric current.



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Primary coil

Secondary coil



A transformer is an electric device used to convert the voltage of electric current. The simplest transformers consist of two coils and a common iron core. The current flowing through the primary coil induces a varying magnetic field in the iron core, which, in turn, induces electric current in the secondary coil. The ratio of the primary to secondary voltages is equal to the ratio of the number of turns in the primary coil to that in the secondary coil. Therefore, when the number of turns in the secondary coil is half of that in the primary coil, the voltage is decreased to half of its former value.

The current flowing in the coil induces a magnetic field in the iron core according to the right-hand grip rule. When you wrap your right hand around the coil with your fingers in the direction of the current, your thumb points in the direction of the magnetic north pole.

The varying magnetic field of the iron core induces electric current in the secondary coil according to the left-hand grip rule. When you wrap your left hand around the coil with your thumb pointing in the direction of the magnetic flux, your fingers show the direction of the current in the coil.

Transformers are widely used in practice. They are used to decrease the voltage of the current in transmission lines to the level used by customers, typically between 110-240 V, depending on the country. Phone chargers also contain transformers, converting the mains voltage to 15 V.

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