AskDefine | Define milliamp

User Contributed Dictionary



From milli + ampere


  1. One thousandth ( 10-3 ) of an ampere. Symbol: mA.

Extensive Definition

The ampere, in practice often shortened to amp, (symbol: A) is a unit of electric current, or amount of electric charge per second. The ampere is an SI base unit, and is named after André-Marie Ampère, one of the main discoverers of electromagnetism.


One ampere is defined to be the constant current which will produce a force of 2×10–7 newton per metre of length between two straight, parallel conductors of infinite length and negligible circular cross section placed one metre apart in a vacuum. For a description of this force law, see Serway. See also Ampère's force law. The ampere is a base unit, along with the metre, kelvin, second, mole, candela and the kilogram: it is defined without reference to the quantity of electric charge.
The S.I. unit of charge, the coulomb, is defined to be the quantity of charge displaced by a one ampere per second. Conversely, an ampere is one coulomb of charge going past a given point in the duration of one second; that is, in general, charge Q is determined by steady current I flowing per unit time t as:
Q=It \!\


The ampere is most accurately realized using a watt balance, but is in practice maintained via Ohm's Law from the units of EMF and resistance, the volt and the ohm, since the latter two can be tied to physical phenomena that are relatively easy to reproduce, the Josephson junction and the quantum Hall effect, respectively. The official realization of a standard ampere is discussed in NIST Special publication 330 Barry N Taylor (editor) Appendix 2, p. 56.

Proposed future definition

Since a coulomb is approximately equal to 6.24150948×1018 elementary charges, one ampere is approximately equivalent to 6.24150948×1018 elementary charges, such as electrons, moving past a boundary in one second.
As with other SI base units, there have been proposals to redefine the kilogram in such a way as to define some presently measured physical constants to fixed values. One proposed definition of the kilogram is:
The kilogram is the mass which would be accelerated at precisely 2×10-7 m/s2 if subjected to the per metre force between two straight parallel conductors of infinite length, of negligible circular cross section, placed 1 metre apart in vacuum, through which flow a constant current of exactly 6 241 509 479 607 717 888 elementary charges per second. This redefinition of the kilogram has the effect of fixing the elementary charge to be e = 1.60217653 C and would result in a functionally equivalent definition for the coulomb as being the sum of exactly 6 241 509 479 607 717 888 elementary charges and the ampere as being the electrical current of exactly 6 241 509 479 607 717 888 elementary charges per second. This is consistent with the current 2002 CODATA value for the elementary charge which is 1.60217653×10-19 ± 0.00000014×10-19 C.

CIPM recommendation

International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM) Recommendation 1 (CI-2005): Preparative steps towards new definitions of the kilogram, the ampere, the kelvin and the mole in terms of fundamental constants
The International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM),
  • approve in principle the preparation of new definitions and mises en pratique of the kilogram, the ampere and the kelvin so that if the results of experimental measurements over the next few years are indeed acceptable, all having been agreed with the various Consultative Committees and other relevant bodies, the CIPM can prepare proposals to be put to Member States of the Metre Convention in time for possible adoption by the 24th CGPM in 2011;
  • give consideration to the possibility of redefining, at the same time, the mole in terms of a fixed value of the Avogadro constant;
  • prepare a Draft Resolution that may be put to the 23rd CGPM in 2007 to alert Member States to these activities;


milliamp in Arabic: أمبير
milliamp in Asturian: Amperiu
milliamp in Belarusian: Ампер
milliamp in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Ампэр
milliamp in Bengali: অ্যাম্পিয়ার
milliamp in Bosnian: Amper
milliamp in Breton: Amper
milliamp in Bulgarian: Ампер
milliamp in Catalan: Ampere
milliamp in Czech: Ampér
milliamp in Danish: Ampere
milliamp in German: Ampere
milliamp in Estonian: Amper
milliamp in Modern Greek (1453-): Αμπέρ (μονάδα μέτρησης)
milliamp in Spanish: Amperio
milliamp in Esperanto: Ampero
milliamp in Basque: Anpere
milliamp in Persian: آمپر (یکا)
milliamp in French: Ampère (unité)
milliamp in Friulian: Ampere
milliamp in Irish: Aimpéar
milliamp in Galician: Ampere
milliamp in Korean: 암페어
milliamp in Hindi: एम्पीयर
milliamp in Croatian: Amper
milliamp in Indonesian: Ampere
milliamp in Icelandic: Amper
milliamp in Italian: Ampere
milliamp in Hebrew: אמפר
milliamp in Kazakh: Ампер (өлшем бірлік)
milliamp in Swahili (macrolanguage): Ampea
milliamp in Kurdish: Ampère
milliamp in Latvian: Ampērs
milliamp in Luxembourgish: Ampere (Eenheet)
milliamp in Lithuanian: Amperas
milliamp in Hungarian: Amper
milliamp in Marathi: अँपियर
milliamp in Malay (macrolanguage): Ampere
milliamp in Dutch: Ampère
milliamp in Japanese: アンペア
milliamp in Norwegian: Ampere
milliamp in Norwegian Nynorsk: Ampere
milliamp in Low German: Ampere
milliamp in Polish: Amper
milliamp in Portuguese: Ampère
milliamp in Romanian: Amper
milliamp in Russian: Ампер
milliamp in Albanian: Amperimetri
milliamp in Simple English: Ampere
milliamp in Slovak: Ampér
milliamp in Slovenian: Amper
milliamp in Serbian: Ампер
milliamp in Serbo-Croatian: Amper
milliamp in Finnish: Ampeeri
milliamp in Swedish: Ampere
milliamp in Thai: แอมแปร์
milliamp in Vietnamese: Ampe
milliamp in Turkish: Amper
milliamp in Ukrainian: Ампер
milliamp in Chinese: 安培
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