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Author Topic: Questions about electron flow and current flow.  (Read 4424 times)

Offline RyanGuyardo

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Questions about electron flow and current flow.
« on: 06/05/2009 20:26:40 »
1. Electrons flow from negative to positive terminal or the other way? Why?
2. What is the direction of current flow?


 

Offline Vern

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Questions about electron flow and current flow.
« Reply #1 on: 06/05/2009 21:01:10 »
Electrons move from atom to atom from the direction of the negative terminal toward the direction of the positive terminal. A power source removes electrons from the positive terminal and puts electrons on the negative terminal. The electrons in the wire then move to balance the forces.
« Last Edit: 06/05/2009 21:03:24 by Vern »
 

Offline lightarrow

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Questions about electron flow and current flow.
« Reply #2 on: 06/05/2009 21:36:06 »
When there are negative and positive charge carriers (semiconductors, electrolites, bolts, ecc.), the negative ones go from the negative to the positive pole; the positive ones from the positive to the negative.
 

lyner

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Questions about electron flow and current flow.
« Reply #3 on: 07/05/2009 00:46:31 »
Long before anyone had discovered Electrons and explained what is 'really happening' when a current flows, they had (arbitrarily) assigned positive and negative signs to the outputs of batteries etc.. Unfortunately, they made an unfortunate choice and we are stuck with it.
 

Offline travenue

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Questions about electron flow and current flow.
« Reply #4 on: 07/05/2009 04:18:26 »
The positive carriers of current flow are called holes. A hole is actually the absence of an electron and does not exist as a "real" particle. In electrical engineering we calculate and visualize current flow from plus to minus even though the actual physical particle, the electron, is going the other way. Holes are given physical characteristics. Since I learned it all one way, it has never been too confusing, but a little strange when you think about it. I remember seeing two nearly identical textbooks next to each other in my college library on basic electricity. One was based on electron flow and one was based on hole flow - weird.
 

lyner

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Questions about electron flow and current flow.
« Reply #5 on: 07/05/2009 23:54:20 »
I'm not sure that 'holes' help the explanation. They are only there in solids and moving because electrons are moving. Life would have been a lot easier for everyone starting on the Physics of Electricity if they had only chosen things to be the other way.
Positive charges do travel in solutions but they're a bit in the minority of phenomena which we normally study and discuss.
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Questions about electron flow and current flow.
« Reply #5 on: 07/05/2009 23:54:20 »

 

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