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Question Video: Recalling Which Quantity an Ammeter Can Measure Science

Which of the following quantities does an ammeter measure? [A] Electric charge [B] Potential difference [C] Electrical energy [D] None of these quantities

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Video Transcript

Which of the following quantities does an ammeter measure? Is it (A) electric charge, (B) potential difference, (C) electrical energy, or (D) none of these quantities?

This question is asking what quantity is measured using an ammeter. A clue to the correct answer is in the word “ammeter.” Measuring devices are sometimes called meters. For example, a thermometer measures temperature. The name thermometer tells us this instrument is a thermo-meter. It is a thermal measurement device.

What then would an ammeter be used for measuring? What does am- mean here? We can consider the quantities shown and see if A-M or am- relates to any of them. Electric charge is not sensibly abbreviated by A-M. The unit of electric charge is the coulomb. This unit is also not sensibly abbreviated by A-M. Electric potential difference is not sensibly abbreviated by A-M. The unit of potential difference is the volt. This unit is also not sensibly abbreviated by A-M. Electric energy is not sensibly abbreviated by A-M. The unit of energy is the joule. This unit is also not sensibly abbreviated by A-M.

None of these quantities seem to be good candidates for what an ammeter would measure. Let us consider the quantity electric current. Electric current is not sensibly abbreviated by A-M. However, the unit of current is the ampere. Ampere can be sensibly abbreviated by A-M, and in fact ammeters do measure electric current. We see then that the correct answer is option (D). None of these quantities are what an ammeter measures.

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