The War of the Currents

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The War of Currents took place in the late 1880’s between Thomas Edison’s DC and Nikola Tesla’s AC current power systems. Although at the time there was much debate about which system was the optimal for the transmission of electricity, Nikola Tesla’s AC system proved to be superior.

In essence, AC has the ability to be converted to higher or lower voltages relatively easier than DC. This allows AC electricity to be transmitted more efficiently for longer distances. To read more about the War of Currents visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s article on AC vs. DC.

Below is also a video featuring Dr. Rob Ivester, Dr. Stephen Frank, and Dr. Bernie Carlson, Professor of science, technology, and society at the University of Virginia discussing the differences between Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison.