# Circuit Problem -- With only a battery in the circuit, will current flow?

• Faiq
In summary: In this case, the current would still flow, but the potential difference would be less than ideal.In summary, current will flow in an ideal circuit given that there is only an ideal battery in the circuit. However, if there is any resistance in the circuit, current will not flow.

## Homework Statement

Will current flow in an ideal circuit given that there is only an ideal battery in the circuit?

V=IR

## The Attempt at a Solution

Since there is no resistance through out the circuit no potential is dropped so no current flows

Last edited by a moderator:
Are you asking if whether a current will flow only if there is a battery?

Yes

Of course. Batteries are the power supply of a circuit. How can there be current flowing through a circuit without any form of power connected to it?

Thanks

Sure . . .

Although I'm curious to know what made you think otherwise?

Hold on, do you mean a circuit with a battery only, with its + terminal connected to its - terminal via an ideal wire?

No current is flowing right? I was thinking the same but one guy said otherwise and gave no logic behind his reasoning

And the battery doesn't even have internal resistance

Then this is a case of an unrealizable circuit. The ideal battery will want to drive an infinite amount of current through the wire.

You get a similar problem with an ideal current source with open terminals; it will want to create an infinite potential difference across the terminals in order to drive the required current.

In both cases, in the real world, something's got to give. Think: FLASH! BANG! SMOKE!

Vibhor and cnh1995
No I am just asking why would current even flow when there's no potential difference across the circuit

Faiq said:
No I am just asking why would current even flow when there's no potential difference across the circuit
The ideal battery will attempt to make enough current flow in order to realize the battery's specified potential difference. With no resistance, it cannot accomplish this so the current heads off to infinity.

Vibhor and ProfuselyQuarky
For current to flow from one point to another point, there should be some potential difference but the whole circuit is on the same potential. Why would current flow then?

gneill said:
do you mean a circuit with a battery only, with its + terminal connected to its - terminal via an ideal wire?
The OP didn't specify any of that
gneill said:
In both cases, in the real world, something's got to give. Think: FLASH! BANG! SMOKE!
This sounds familiar

The ideal battery's positive terminal is connected to its negative terminal by an ideal wire

Faiq said:
The ideal battery's positive terminal is connected to its negative terminal by an ideal wire
That is an unrealizable circuit, as gneill said earlier.

I know but I am just curios to why would current even flow when there's no potential difference across the circuit

Faiq said:
why would current even flow when there's no potential difference across the circuit
Ideal battery tries to maintain a constant potential difference across its terminals. Ideal wires have zero resistance, hence, they try to have 0 potential difference across them. These two opposite behaviors make the circuit unrealizable. One good example gneill gave is of an open circuited current source. Similarly, you can't connect two ideal voltage sources in parallel and two ideal current sources in series. These are unrealizable circuits.

Oh which means that my question is invalid?

CWatters
Faiq said:
Oh which means that my question is invalid?
The situation in your question is invalid.

CWatters
I=V/R
R=0
ERROR, DIVIDE BY ZERO

Note: In a real circuit, that wire would not have 0 resistance.

It would have a very small resistance, so a large amount of current would flow.

Often when thinking about ideal cases, it can help to think what would happen in a slightly less than ideal case

cnh1995, SammyS and CWatters

## 1. Will current flow in a circuit with only a battery?

Yes, current will flow in a circuit with only a battery. The battery creates an electrical potential difference, also known as voltage, which causes a flow of charged particles, known as current, through the circuit.

## 2. What determines the amount of current flow in a circuit with only a battery?

The amount of current flow in a circuit with only a battery is determined by the voltage of the battery and the resistance of the circuit. The higher the voltage and the lower the resistance, the greater the current flow will be.

## 3. Can a circuit with only a battery have a current flow of zero?

Yes, a circuit with only a battery can have a current flow of zero if the circuit is open or if the resistance is extremely high. In these cases, there is no complete path for the current to flow through, so it will remain at zero.

## 4. How does the placement of the battery affect the current flow in a circuit?

The placement of the battery does not affect the current flow in a circuit, as long as it is connected in the correct orientation. The battery will create the same potential difference and current flow regardless of its location in the circuit.

## 5. Can current flow in a circuit with only a battery if the battery is dead?

No, current will not flow in a circuit with only a dead battery. A dead battery no longer has the ability to create an electrical potential difference, so there will be no current flow in the circuit.