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A device used to change the voltage of an alternating current in one circuit to a different voltage in a second circuit, or to partially isolate two circuits from each other. Transformers consist of two or more coils of conducting material, such as wire, wrapped around a core (often made of iron). The magnetic field produced by an alternating current in one coil induces a similar current in the other coils. ◇ If there are fewer turns on the coil that carries the source of the power than there are on a second coil, the second coil will provide the same power but at a higher voltage. This is called a step-up transformer. ◇ If there are fewer turns on the second coil than on the source coil, the outgoing power will have a lower voltage. This is called a step-down transformer. Compare converter, rectifier.