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arc (in electricity)

arc, in electricity, highly luminous and intensely hot discharge of electricity between two electrodes. The arc was discovered early in the 19th cent. by the English scientist Sir Humphry Davy, who so named it because of its shape. An arc is characterized by a high current, low voltage, and indefinite duration. It is usually started when two electrodes carrying an electric current are drawn apart. At the instant the electrodes are parted, strong electric forces draw electrons from one electrode to the other, initiating the arc. The discharge consists of a current composed of these electrons and charged gas particles, called ions, that form between the electrodes. The first practical electric light, the arc lamp, made use of the arc formed between two carbon rods (see lighting). Today the use of the arc lamp is limited to special purposes, e.g., in searchlights and in research applications. The principle of the electric arc is employed in welding (as in the hydrogen arc, where hydrogen is introduced between tungsten electrodes) and also in generating heat in the electric furnace. A spark, like an arc, is a discharge of electricity between two points, but it has a high voltage and a short duration. Lightning is an example of a spark.

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arc

arc / ärk/ • n. 1. a part of the circumference of a circle or other curve. ∎  a curved shape, or something shaped like a curve: the arc of the sky. ∎  a curving trajectory: he swung his flashlight in an arc. ∎  [as adj.] Math. indicating the inverse of a trigonometrical function. 2. (also electric arc) a luminous electrical discharge between two electrodes or other points. • v. (arced ; arc·ing ) [intr.] 1. move with a curving trajectory: the ball arced across the room. 2. [usu. as n.] (arcing) form an electric arc: check that switches operate properly with no sign of arcing. PHRASES: minute of arcsee minute1 (sense 2). second of arcsee second2 (sense 2).

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arc (in geometry)

arc, in geometry, a curved line or any part of it; in particular, a portion of the circumference of a circle. The length s of an arc of a circle of radius r and subtending a central angle of θ radians is s=rθ; if θ is measured in degrees, then the arc is given by s=2πrθ/360.

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arc

arc Portion of a curve. For a circle, the length (s) of an arc is found either by 2rπ × θ/360 or the product of the radius (r) and the angle (θ), measured in radians, that it subtends at the centre: that is, s = r θ.

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ARC

ARC / ärk/ • abbr. ∎  Med. AIDS-related complex. ∎  American Red Cross.

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arc

arc XIV. — (O)F. :- L. arcus bow, arch.

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ARC

ARC n. AIDS-related complex: see AIDS.

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arc

arc of a graph. See graph.

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arc

arc See ISLAND ARC.

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arc

arcarc, ark, Bach, bark, barque, Braque, Clark, clerk, dark, embark, hark, impark, Iraq, Ladakh, Lamarck, lark, macaque, marc, mark, marque, narc, nark, Newark, park, quark, sark, shark, snark, spark, stark, Vlach •matriarch, patriarch •tanbark • ringbark • stringy-bark •Offenbach • ironbark • oligarch •salesclerk • titlark • skylark •meadowlark • woodlark • mudlark •landmark • checkmark • Denmark •benchmark • waymark • trademark •seamark • Bismarck • telemark •tidemark • Kitemark • pockmark •Ostmark • hallmark • Goldmark •Deutschmark • bookmark • footmark •earmark • watermark • birthmark •anarch • car park • skatepark •ballpark •Petrarch, tetrarch •hierarch, squirearch •exarch • Pesach • loan shark •Plutarch • aardvark

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