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How does a full-wave rectifier work?

A full-wave rectifier converts AC to DC by using both halves of the input waveform.

A full-wave rectifier is a circuit that converts alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC). It does this by using both halves of the input waveform, unlike a half-wave rectifier which only uses one half. The circuit consists of four diodes arranged in a bridge configuration, with the input AC voltage applied across two of the diodes and the output DC voltage taken from the other two diodes.

During the positive half-cycle of the input waveform, diodes D1 and D2 are forward-biased and conduct current through the load resistor. At the same time, diodes D3 and D4 are reverse-biased and block current flow. During the negative half-cycle, the roles of the diodes are reversed, with D3 and D4 conducting current and D1 and D2 blocking current.

The result is that the output voltage is always positive, with a magnitude equal to the peak value of the input voltage. The output voltage is not perfectly smooth, however, as there will still be some ripple due to the charging and discharging of the output capacitor. This can be reduced by increasing the capacitance of the capacitor or by using a voltage regulator circuit.

Overall, a full-wave rectifier is a more efficient and effective way of converting AC to DC than a half-wave rectifier, as it makes use of both halves of the input waveform.

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