I'm a bit confused on some of the fundamentals of Alternating Current, if anyone could help me out it would be awesome. 1) In what form is the mechanical energy provided to an alternator to produce the electrical energy? Does someone sit at each generator and spin a hand-crank (joke)? 2) Is any Direct Current applied to produce AC? Or is it simply the mechanical energy that causes the armature to spin which in turn induces a current? 3) How does AC ever actually get anywhere due to its back-and-forth motion? How is it transmitted from power grids to homes? I know that no actual electrons travel from the plant to homes, so how is the energy received? 4) After watching a couple videos, I am still confused on how the spinning of the armature is initially started. 5) Why is 3-phase AC (120 degree offset) the optimal setup as opposed to 4 or 5? I realize this is a lot to ask, any help is much appreciate. Thanks!