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Galvanometers are the main instruments used to detect and measure current. They depend on the fact that force is generated by an electric current flowing in a magnetic field. The mechanism of the galvanometer is so arranged that a small permanent magnet or electromagnet sets up a magnetic field that generates a force when current flows in a wire coil adjacent to the magnet. Either the magnet or the adjacent coil may be movable. The force deflects the movable member by an amount proportional to the strength of the current. The movable member may have a pointer or some other device to enable the amount of deflection to be read on a calibrated scale. An ordinary galvanometer of the movable needle or movable coil type cannot by itself be used for detecting or measuring alternating currents because it only gives an indication with a unidirectional current and is therefore unaffected by an alternating current.