a device that commutates an electric current, esp. a split-ring metallic conductor that spins rapidly with the armature of a DC motor or generator while in contact with the fixed brushes
Origin of commutator; from Classical Latin commutatus (pp. of commutare, commute) + -or
- A cylindrical arrangement of insulated metal bars connected to the coils of a direct-current electric motor or generator, providing a unidirectional current from the generator or a reversal of current into the coils of the motor.
- Mathematics In a commutative or noncommutative group, an element of the form ghg−1h−1 where g and h are elements of the group. If g and h commute, the commutator is the identity element.
- an electrical switch, in a generator or motor, that periodically reverses the direction of an electric current
- (mathematics) (of a group) an element of the form ghg−1h−1 where g and h are elements of the group; it is equal to the group's identity if and only if g and h commute
- (mathematics) (of a ring) an element of the form ab-ba, where a and b are elements of the ring, it is identical to the ring's zero element if and only if a and b commute