A current of electrons

  1. An magnetic field can make a current flow of electrons. But can the magnetic field make the protons move or is it "just" the electrons that flow?
  2. jcsd
  3. Any charge carrier can be made to move. It metals the charge carriers are negatively charged, but in electrolytes they can be positive.
  4. Vanadium 50

    Vanadium 50 18,470
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    When a magnet moves a piece of iron, did the protons (and neutrons) move too or just the electrons?
  5. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    In a normal conductor, such as a copper wire, the protons don't move because they are bound together in a lattice and cannot move. The electrons that make up the current flow are free to flow around the metal, thus a voltage will cause them to move.
  6. Yes, thank you for teaching me that.

    The neutron that moves must be seen as an object that moves ind irectly because of the magnetic field. Because it has zero net charge, and therefore cannot be affected by the magnetic field in a direct way. At least I think so, though I am no expert on these stuff, just trying to learn.

    That is what I Think, too.

    Above contemplations has risen these questions.
    1) Can a object that has zero net charge be affected by a magnetic field? If yes, what is it that happens?
    2) If an object has zero net charge and is moving through a magnetic field, would it experience the force of the magnetic field or would it be like moving in vacuum? Would it move "slower"?

    Thank you
  7. If the protons in your house wiring move then your cable costs are going to be *very* high, and I'd call the police not your power company if your wiring disappears.

    "Hello, is this Electro-cartel, my protons have gone, did the wire flow back to your power plant?"

    But the protons in the iron filings I put next to the magnet certainly moved!
  8. Here is a good link on the topic

  9. Vanadium 50

    Vanadium 50 18,470
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    A number of off-topic messages have been removed.

    I think a very fundamental question to the OP is what "counts". A magnet can pick up a piece of iron. Somehow that doesn't count, so it would probably help to have a clearer idea of what he's looking for.
  10. In general, motion of all charges, including electrons and protons, contribute to the electrical current. But in a wire, only the electrons contribute, since the metal is solid and normally fastened down to something.
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