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i think i maybe dumb..but could'nt help in asking..how does an alternating current flow?if the electrons first flow in one direction and reverse their direction shouldnt they be oscillating about a mean position??

Physics
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hmmm you can think of it that way.. how do you create an ac current?.. you take a coil and rotate it in a steady magnetic field (that is one way of doing it).. when that happens.. there is a magnetic force experienced by the charges.. and this forces alternates.. creating an alternating current.. so i guess you can say that they oscillate..
Yes you are right, that is exactly what they are doing. That is an alternating flow.
@Mashy @Vincent-Lyon.Fr if they are oscillating abt a fixed mean position,then how do they produce current (which is by defn. "the flow" of electrons)?

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because they are still flowing.. They return too one point each time but the movement (and therefor the flow) doesn't disappear, it just reverses.
Think about the electrons pushing all the other electrons in one direction then the other so all the way down the wire things are getting pushed one way, then the other.
obviously.. the average value over one complete cycle is zero..cause as you say there is not net electron flow.... :).. thats why the average value is always taken over one half cycle..
Whether electrons are flowing in one direction only, or alternatively, they still push one another and transmit energy along the line. When your electricity company sells "electricity", it does not sell you electrons but electron motion.
thank you friends..
But i always wondered.. the only reason we can use electron energy is because A) the motion heats up the material.. and hence produces light B) produces magnetism and thus helps make motors if it weren't for these two results.. electricity is pure useless right??..
@Mashy wonder yes!
@Mashy A) yes B) yes, but in the case where the magnets are permanent, the reason is that the conductor undergoes a force due to the outside magnetic field. C) electron energy is so easy to transfer from one place to another.

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