What is Ampère?

Ampere is simply the unit of current. You can compare it with a metre, which is the unit of length. The number of amps therefore indicates the amperage. It is indicated on a product by the letter "A". The discoverer of the unit is the Frenchman André-Marie Ampère. Ampere is often associated with Wattage or Volt. The terms are certainly related, but they all indicate something different.


The definition of an Ampère comes from a physical phenomenon. There is a magnetic field around a live wire. The stronger the current is, the stronger the magnetic field becomes. As a result, two parallel current wires attract each other magnetically. When these two cables are connected to the same power source and they attract each other with the right force, one Ampère flows through each cable.

Ampère, Volt and Wattage

As we have seen, these terms are certainly related. However, the terms do not all mean the same thing. Wattage indicates the power consumption. The current in Ampere. Volt indicates the voltage on the connection. The difference between the terms is easier to explain with an example. Think of a river running from a mountain to the sea. The amount of water that passes per second is indicated in Amperes. The difference in height between the sea and the mountain is the number of Volts. It looks similar, is related but is not the same.

The relationship between the two terms is very easy to calculate. However, the number of Volts is involved. The number of Amps x the number of Volts = the Wattage. Of course, this formula can also be reversed if the number of amperes is unknown. Then the formula applies: Wattage / the number of Volts = the number of Ampères.