Difference Between in Physics

Difference Between Ammeter and Galvanometer

For electrical instruments, measurements of parameters like current flow are very important. This current measurement is possible through an ammeter and also through a galvanometer. But these two are having many dissimilarities. The main difference between these two is that the galvanometer shows both the direction and the magnitude of the current. But, the ammeter only shows the magnitude of the current. Here we will have the description of both as well as some aspects of the difference between Ammeter and Galvanometer.

What is Ammeter?

This is also termed as Ampere Meter. It is the measuring instrument useful in electrical devices. It measures the magnitude of the flow of current in the circuit. An Ammeter can also take precise measurements of current, even in the small units of mili-amperes or micro-amperes. For measuring the exact value of current, Ammeter is placed in the way of a series connection with the measuring circuit. Because in the series only, the whole current of the circuit will pass through it.

What is Galvanometer?

This device is more applicable for the measurement of current if the direction of the flow of current is also important to know. It uses a moving coil. this coil is free to rotate between the permanent magnet. With the flow of current through the coil, deflection can be seen in the coil. This deflection of the coil is directly proportional to the magnitude of current flow through it. The galvanometer is a versatile device. One can convert it into the ammeter by connecting the resistance in its parallel. Not only this, one can convert it into a voltmeter, with the connection of the resistance in series with it, in the circuit.

Difference between Ammeter and Galvanometer

Difference between Ammeter and Galvanometer

                                                                               Difference between Ammeter and Galvanometer

The important difference between Ammeter and Galvanometer

Parameter Ammeter Galvanometer
Definition It is an instrument used to determine the magnitude of the current flowing in the electrical circuit. It is the instrument, which is useful for the detection of the strength as well as the direction of small current flow in a circuit.
Instrument Category It is an electric or mechanical instrument. It is an electromechanical instrument.
Need for the magnetic field. It works with or without a magnetic field. It needs a magnetic field
Accuracy It is more accurate. It is less accurate.
Nature of Current It measures both direct and alternating current. It measures only direct current.
Level of sensitiveness It is less sensitive It is more sensitive
Applications It is useful in the electrical circuit. It is useful in bridge and potentiometer measurements.
Direction of current It does not show the direction of the current. It shows the direction of the current.

After studying the difference between Ammeter and Galvanometer, let us study some more details.


The ammeter is useful from measuring the small amount of current flowing through the entire circuit. The ammeter is an electric or mechanical device. It is connected in series with the circuit for measuring the current flow.  It is also easily available with different ranges in the laboratories and industries. The ammeter is also useful to measure the current flow in household appliances. Also, it is widely useful in companies having a base in manufacturing and instrumentation. Electricians are using this device to check the faults of the circuits in offices and houses.


The galvanometer is another current measuring instrument. It is mostly applicable in the bridges and potentiometer for showing the zero presence of current. Some main parts of it are moving coil, suspension, magnet, iron core, and spring. It uses the permanent magnets between which the coil of wire is located. With the flow of current through the coil, the magnetic field induces across the wire.

This coil’s magnetic field cuts the magnetic field of the permanent magnet, and hence the force is exerted on the coil, and due to this coil starts moving. It is noteworthy here that its construction is similar to the ammeter. But, the only difference is that the ammeter has additional resistance connected in parallel with the circuit.


The galvanometer and ammeter both are the measuring instruments. The ammeter is the implementation of the galvanometer which shows the exact value of current passes through it in small units too.

FAQs about Ammeter and Galvanometer:

Q.1: Ammeter should always be connected in series. Why?

Solution: Ammeter should always be connected in series. This is because the internal resistance of this device is low. And in parallel connection, there is a high chance of short circuits.

Q.2: Can we use a galvanometer as an ammeter in the circuit. If yes, then how?

Solution: Yes, we can use a galvanometer as an ammeter in the circuit. We can convert it into an ammeter. For this conversion, a low resistance known as shunt resistance has to be connected in parallel to the galvanometer.

Q.3: What is the name of the most common type of galvanometer?

Solution: It is the D’Arsonval galvanometer.





Share with friends

Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in?
Get ready for all-new Live Classes!
Now learn Live with India's best teachers. Join courses with the best schedule and enjoy fun and interactive classes.
Ashhar Firdausi
IIT Roorkee
Dr. Nazma Shaik
Gaurav Tiwari
Get Started

Leave a Reply

1 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
suma Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

hey do you guys knows what is cconcave




WELL YEAH, A curved mirror is a mirror with a curved reflecting surface. The surface may be either convex or concave. Most curved mirrors have surfaces that are shaped like part of a sphere, but other shapes are sometimes used in optical devices

Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in?
No thanks.