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

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Electricity Poll: which way were you taught?

by zoobyshoe
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zoobyshoe
#19
Feb18-12, 02:17 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
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.
Yes, I didn't anticipate any situations where someone could say they were taught both.
Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
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.
You're right. The word "electricity" should be replaced with "electric current". A specific direction usually has to be attributed to DC so there's some sense of what's alternating when AC is introduced.
I like Serena
#20
Feb18-12, 02:27 PM
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I think the question in which direction "electric current" flows is a bit ambiguous.
Are we talking about "conventional current" or "electron flow"?
I have also been taught both.

But suppose you have the schematic of an electrical circuit.
In which direction would you draw the arrows representing the current?
From the plus pole (high voltage) to the minus pole (low voltage) or vice versa?
BobG
#21
Feb18-12, 02:44 PM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Yes, I didn't anticipate any situations where someone could say they were taught both.
Oh, for crying out loud!

If it was the first way you were taught, you flip the light switch on! For all subsequent ways you were taught, leave the light switch alone. The only person that gets to flip the switch down is the counter (Zooby). It's the only possible way we'll know for certain!

AlephZero
#22
Feb18-12, 02:50 PM
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For those who are sure they know the "right" answer (whichever you think is right), see http://amasci.com/amateur/elecdir.html

Or see http://amasci.com/miscon/elect.html for a bigger picture of how to confuse students about electricity.
wukunlin
#23
Feb18-12, 02:50 PM
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I was told that we model electrons pop out of the positive terminal to the negative, but when they found out in reality it is the opposite no one bothered to change all the textbooks
Ivan Seeking
#24
Feb18-12, 03:18 PM
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Quote Quote by AlephZero View Post
For those who are sure they know the "right" answer (whichever you think is right), see http://amasci.com/amateur/elecdir.html

Or see http://amasci.com/miscon/elect.html for a bigger picture of how to confuse students about electricity.
I was quite shocked the first time I calculated the electron drift velocity in a wire given a nominal dc current.
rollcast
#25
Feb18-12, 04:56 PM
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Quote Quote by Ivan Seeking View Post
I was quite shocked the first time I calculated the electron drift velocity in a wire given a nominal dc current.
We worked it out in physics last week and its something like 24 hours to go through 1 metre of wire IIRC.
netgypsy
#26
Feb18-12, 05:01 PM
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Taught to draw the current arrows in the direction a postive charge would flow IF it flowed. And that this was just a convention so everyone would know what the arrows meant.

I do recall chemistry teachers talking about the fact that convention for flow in chemistry was the opposite as that taught in physics but I taught both and both seemed totally logical so I never did figure out what her problem was with it???

I'm thinking it was because the cathode and a cation were opposite in charge, but they are different things so its just a matter of being careful to read whatever convention the materail is using.
Chi Meson
#27
Feb18-12, 10:05 PM
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I teach students simultaneously that "current" is from + to - , while electrons (which are the only things flowing in solid conductors) drift from - to + .

I like to point out that it's all Ben Franklin's fault for calling the glass rod "Positive."

(I want to go back in time so I could ask "Are you sure?"

and he would reply

"Yes, positive.")
zoobyshoe
#28
Feb18-12, 10:23 PM
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Quote Quote by Chi Meson View Post
I like to point out that it's all Ben Franklin's fault for calling the glass rod "Positive."

(I want to go back in time so I could ask "Are you sure?"

and he would reply

"Yes, positive.")
Great joke! At least, I got a charge out of it.
turbo
#29
Feb18-12, 10:31 PM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Great joke! At least, I got a charge out of it.
Pythagorean
#30
Feb18-12, 11:07 PM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Great joke! At least, I got a charge out of it.
pardon my reluctance to laugh, the charge wasn't moving enough for me.
zoobyshoe
#31
Feb19-12, 01:41 AM
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Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
pardon my reluctance to laugh, the charge wasn't moving enough for me.
Watt? You're just being negative. That's no way to conduct yourself. You have more potential.
Pythagorean
#32
Feb19-12, 01:50 AM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Watt? You're just being negative. That's no way to conduct yourself. You have more potential.
I have my domains conflicted! I can't help it. I'm becoming hysteresical!
zoobyshoe
#33
Feb19-12, 01:54 AM
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Quote Quote by Pythagorean View Post
I have my domains conflicted! I can't help it. I'm becoming hysteresical!
Galvanize your will, transform your attitude, and ground yourself in reality!
turbo
#34
Feb19-12, 04:58 AM
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Quote Quote by zoobyshoe View Post
Watt? You're just being negative. That's no way to conduct yourself. You have more potential.
epenguin
#35
Feb19-12, 09:35 AM
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Ohm I god, I'm positive we were taught both ways and alternated.
Ivan Seeking
#36
Feb19-12, 09:44 AM
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The real question is, do you use ohms or mhos?

Reminds me of an old joke I just made up. Have you ever heard an electrical engineer meditating? "Ohhhhhhhm, Ohhhhhhhm, Ohhhhhhhm..."


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