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Definition

peak (pk)

Also see peak-to-peak .

Peak (pk) is the maximum value, either positive (pk+) or negative (pk-), that a waveform attains. Peak values can be expressed for voltage (the usual case), current , or power .

Alternating current ( AC ) waveforms reach peaks in two directions of polarity or current flow. These peaks are usually of equal amplitude and opposite polarity. However, if a direct current ( DC ) component exists, pk+ differs from pk-. An example of an AC wave with a DC component, showing the pk+ and pk- values, is shown below.

peak.gif (1932 bytes)

For an AC sine wave without a DC component, the peak amplitude is equal to approximately 1.414 times the root-mean-square amplitude.

This was last updated in March 2011

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