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Could you recommend some good reading regarding current?

  1. Oct 25, 2015 #1
    First post here, thank you in advance. I'm interested to know more about current, or the energy that manifests itself as heat, light, magnetism by way of electrical intervention, primarily with respect to what it really is.

    I've read through some very fascinating posts about this, and there seems to be a common theory that 'current' is defined as movement of charge, or waves perhaps, but not directly by electron movement.

    That opened up some questions and ideas, but I'd like to read some recommended material first, in the event that my questions could be answered there. I eagerly await your suggestions
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 25, 2015 #2


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  4. Oct 25, 2015 #3
    Thanks, Dave. I appreciate your willingness to get right into some questions/ideas. I don't mind asking/sharing, but wanted to become familiar with the well laid texts by reputable sources, then bring that back to this forum. I see that there are some wonderful contributions here, and I just don't want to waste anyone's time.

    Regarding my level of understanding, I'm willing to read whatever this mind can be manipulated to comprehend! I believe some of the most fundamental concepts can reveal the most, providing it's accurate.

    Here's a link to a closed thread, from this forum, that I really found exciting. Perhaps you could gauge 'where I'm at', or at least what I would like to continue studying, by some of the final posts in that thread:


    I think a good starting question would be: what comes first, the 'electric field', or electron movement? In other words, is the 'electric field' set up, or displaced into a state of electrical potential, by electron movement, or does the 'electron field' cause electron movement? It appears that Mr. Feynman subscribes to the latter, but why?

    I did wedge 'electric field' into quotation marks, by which I ask 'What is an electric field?', or to be more specific, what is an electric field's properties? Is energy it's dominant, if not singular, component? Oops, there I go asking more than one question...
  5. Oct 26, 2015 #4
    Voltage, aka potential, or perhaps think of it as chemical potential (a battery) creates a potential difference between two points. The electric field spatially describes the force that a charge would feel if it were somewhere between these two points.
    Field: E
    Force: F
    charge: q

    A field does not have energy. When you put a charge into a field, it will feel force.
    Energy will be the sum of the force the charge feels over the distance it travels.
  6. Oct 26, 2015 #5
    But does the movement of the electron cause the electric field, or does the electric field cause movement of the electron?

    If a charge is placed into a field, and it has a force imposed upon it, doesn't that mean that the field contained a potential energy before a charge was placed in its' field, but was released into kinetic energy once the charge was forced to move by the charge that was placed within its' field? (I honestly didn't mean to make that sound like a Dr.Seuss line)

    Perhaps 'work' is the sum of the force the charge feels over the distance it travels, expressed by the Joule, rather than energy?
  7. Oct 29, 2015 #6
    I'd like to read into the subject of what voltage and current truly seem to be - any suggestions on good material?
  8. Oct 30, 2015 #7


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    Ahhh but an electric field does store energy, as does a magnetic field
  9. Oct 30, 2015 #8


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    That's a refreshing start to your EE learning; hold that idea in your mind, despite what you may read here and elsewhere. Electrons are not the only way that charge can be carried and basic EM theory makes no such assumptions. People often introduce 'electrons' into discussions, in the hope that it adds to explanations but that approach is seldom more than an analogy (half way to the parallels of water and traffic flow). 'Charge' is a bit of an abstract idea but it will not let you down when you want answers about electronics problems.
  10. Nov 2, 2015 #9
    Thanks. Sophiecentaur, in another post you mention:

    When someone asks "what, exactly, is ...?", they are really asking "what familiar thing is it most like?".
    For Electricity, there isn'a any really good answer.
    There is hope, however. Maths does a very job of telling you 'how electricity behaves'. It's asking a bit of indulgence if you really want to appreciate something like Electricity but don't want to involve Maths. Maths is the only model that gets anywhere near.

    Could you recommend some reading that would take me into the mathematical representation of the behavior of electricity?
  11. Nov 6, 2015 #10
    What about electron and proton spin? I'm under the impression that a rotating body, such as the earth, will generate a magnetic field with opposite poles at each end of its axis of rotation. Does each particle create their own magnetic field due to its spinning? And in turn, if a number of these particles/their poles were aligned together, would this contribute to creating a magnetic field, and consequently, an electric force or charge?
  12. Nov 16, 2015 #11
    So does anyone have some recommended reading? I live in Sheboygan, WI, bratwurst capitol of the world, and would be happy to compensate your suggestions with some brats and beer. Thanks
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