View Poll Results: In What Direction Were You Taught Electricity Flows?
Negative to Positive 17 45.95%
Positive to Negative 20 54.05%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

Electricity Poll: which way were you taught?


by zoobyshoe
Tags: electricity, poll, taught
zoobyshoe
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#1
Feb18-12, 02:17 AM
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In which direction did your physics text teach electricity flows?

Please mention the country in which the school where you learned this was located. I think there may be differences based on location in the world.
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Pythagorean
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#2
Feb18-12, 04:51 AM
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Us, positive to negative
Pythagorean
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#3
Feb18-12, 04:52 AM
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Of course with the misnomer that electrons actually travel (slowly) opposite the direction of current.

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Feb18-12, 05:27 AM
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Electricity Poll: which way were you taught?


Well, that was taught in high school a looooong time ago. The electrons move from - to +, but the current is defined by the positive charge, so that would then appear to move in the other direction (NL). Did I learn it correctly?
BobG
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Feb18-12, 09:00 AM
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I was taught two different methods, so I answered the first way I was taught.

In military tech school, I was taught negative to positive.

In college, I was taught positive to negative.
rollcast
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#6
Feb18-12, 09:10 AM
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In Technology we're taught conventional current and that what we use for all our electronics work. However in physics we learn about both conventional current and electron flow. However the only time you have to use electron flow is if the question specifically asks about electrons.
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Feb18-12, 09:10 AM
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Quote Quote by BobG View Post
I was taught two different methods, so I answered the first way I was taught.

In military tech school, I was taught negative to positive.

In college, I was taught positive to negative.
Just to make sure, were you taught that "electricity" or perhaps "current" flows from the negative pole to the positive pole?
Or were you taught that "electrons" or perhaps the "electron flow" flow(s) from the negative pole to the positive pole?

Which word was used, exactly, on military tech school?
nsaspook
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#8
Feb18-12, 09:20 AM
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I was (non school) taught electrical energy moves from source to load and that the physical effects on the medium of transmission are secondary effects caused by that movement.

I still have my first text book on electricity "Drake's Cyclopedia of Radio and Electronics 11ed 1943" from a relative who was in the signal corp in WW2.
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Feb18-12, 09:23 AM
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Quote Quote by Monique View Post
Well, that was taught in high school a looooong time ago. The electrons move from - to +, but the current is defined by the positive charge, so that would then appear to move in the other direction (NL). Did I learn it correctly?
Same here. I'm not 100% sure but I think I've learned this in France, Canada (Québec) and Argentina.
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Feb18-12, 09:23 AM
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US Navy tech schools teach electron flow. They let us know that some places teach the opposite but choose to teach electron flow because it is physically real. Note that this was 40yrs ago, we did spend 3 weeks on transistors so learned about holes and current flow through solid state devices.
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Feb18-12, 09:31 AM
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Quote Quote by I like Serena View Post
Just to make sure, were you taught that "electricity" or perhaps "current" flows from the negative pole to the positive pole?
Or were you taught that "electrons" or perhaps the "electron flow" flow(s) from the negative pole to the positive pole?

Which word was used, exactly, on military tech school?
Quote Quote by Integral View Post
US Navy tech schools teach electron flow. They let us know that some places teach the opposite but choose to teach electron flow because it is physically real. Note that this was 40yrs ago, we did spend 3 weeks on transistors so learned about holes and current flow through solid state devices.
Same as Integral (except only 30 years ago). They did point out the flaws with this idea (how long an electron actually takes to go from the battery to the starter using DC current, for example). Negative to positive was simply a convention they used when teaching.
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#12
Feb18-12, 10:03 AM
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I think in high school it was mentioned that electrons flow from - to +, but current flows from + to -, as in + from the battery terminal, around the circuit to the - terminal. There was some decoupling of electrons and current, which I didn't clear up until university where finally someone explained the convention that current is the flow of + charges, whereas negative charges (electrons or - ions) flow opposite the current.

I think in high school chemistry were referred to flow of electrons as current, which contributed to some of my confusion when I learned that current was in the direction of the flow of positive charges. I also found it confusing since I knew that electrons flow in electrical circuits and postive charges didn't flow through the circuitry. Of course, atoms can diffuse in solids, but not very quickly at low temperature.
lostcauses10x
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#13
Feb18-12, 10:10 AM
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Negative to positive. Showed a vacuum tube with a paddle wheel as how this was found out. USA.

Might be fun to find one of them tubes or make one.

If I get a chance I will find on of my old books and see what it says, prior to 1900

Edited to add a link to such a tube.
https://wiki.brown.edu/confluence/di...m+Paddle+Wheel
Snicker
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#14
Feb18-12, 10:19 AM
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Are you talking about voltages? Positive charges (which indicates the direction of current) accelerates towards lower electric potentials. So I suppose positive to negative. Also, United States.
lostcauses10x
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#15
Feb18-12, 10:55 AM
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The history of this problem come from way back to electrostatics. The + and - is just a notation use to designate a "charge, such that +,+: and -,- of course repelled, and unlike charges attracted. When way back when, it was said to be that + moved to - when a conductor was attached to the different charges, it was a guess.

When later experiments showed the opposite, well this is the nature of such questions today.
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#16
Feb18-12, 01:26 PM
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I think I would have to go back to Cub Scouts for my first exposure here. No doubt this was discussed as current [hole] flow. At any point after that, my best recollection is that I was aware of both concepts. One of my science fair projects was a Van de Graaff generator, which clearly conveys the concept of electron flow. That was in the ninth grade, but I worked from dad's college physics books, so it's hard to be sure of what was taught in class.

Zooby, I think you needed at least a third option, so I didn't vote.
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Feb18-12, 01:38 PM
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I was self-taught in vacuum-tube electronics, and traced everything from positive to negative, for some reason. Got a power-supply circuit that is rectified and feeds a B+ rail, and trace from there. It worked.
Pythagorean
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#18
Feb18-12, 01:43 PM
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I wasn't actually taught that "electricity flows" though; I was taught current does. Electricity isn't really a quantity with units like current is, it's more like the general name for the phenomena.


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