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? 
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#19
Feb1812, 02:17 PM

P: 5,641




#20
Feb1812, 02:27 PM

HW Helper
P: 6,189

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? 


#21
Feb1812, 02:44 PM

Sci Advisor
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P: 2,284

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! 


#22
Feb1812, 02:50 PM

Engineering
Sci Advisor
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Thanks
P: 7,284

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. 


#23
Feb1812, 02:50 PM

PF Gold
P: 346

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



#24
Feb1812, 03:18 PM

Emeritus
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PF Gold
P: 12,501




#25
Feb1812, 04:56 PM

P: 418




#26
Feb1812, 05:01 PM

P: 239

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. 


#27
Feb1812, 10:05 PM

Sci Advisor
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P: 1,772

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.") 


#30
Feb1812, 11:07 PM

PF Gold
P: 4,292




#31
Feb1912, 01:41 AM

P: 5,641




#32
Feb1912, 01:50 AM

PF Gold
P: 4,292




#33
Feb1912, 01:54 AM

P: 5,641




#35
Feb1912, 09:35 AM

HW Helper
P: 1,991

Ohm I god, I'm positive we were taught both ways and alternated.



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