Question: Provide an overview of 'alternating currents in electrokinetics'.
The study of alternating currents of electricity began to attract great attention towards the end of the 19th century by reason of their application in electrotechnics and especially to the transmission of power. A circuit in which a simple periodic alternating current flows is called a single phase circuit. The important difference between such a form of current flow and steady current flow arises from the fact that if the circuit has inductance then the periodic electric current in it is not in step with the terminal potential difference or electromotive force acting in the circuit, but the current lags behind the electromotive force by a certain fraction of the periodic time called the "phase difference." If two alternating currents having a fixed difference in phase flow in two connected separate but related circuits, the two are called a two-phase current. If three or more single-phase currents preserving a fixed difference of phase flow in various parts of a connected circuit, the whole taken together is called a polyphase current. Since an electric current is a vector quantity, that is, has direction as well as magnitude, it can most conveniently be represented by a line denoting its maximum value, and if the alternating current is a simple periodic current then the root-mean-square or effective value of the current is obtained by dividing the maximum value by 2. Accordingly when we have an electric circuit or circuits in which there are simple periodic currents we can draw a vector diagram, the lines of which represent the relative magnitudes and phase differences of these currents.
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