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Electric Charge- why is the electron the negative

  1. Feb 10, 2013 #1
    Why wasn't the electron fixed with the 'positive' value? wouldn't that simplify a lot of issues with electronics problems, i mean, that way things wouldn't have to be all backwards. like, wherever the electrons go is becoming more negative, and whichever direction they are leaving is more positive...etc...
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2013 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Because the convention was established before the electron was discovered. There was a 50-50 chance of getting it right.
  4. Feb 10, 2013 #3
    Blame Benjamin Franklin.
  5. Feb 10, 2013 #4

    that's what i was thinking...and people do that a lot, just stick with a convention for its own sake ( like not switching to the metric system in the US)
  6. Feb 10, 2013 #5


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    I think it's important to realise that one choice of sign is no more "right" than another.
    The sign of the majority charge carrier is an insignificant factor in understanding 'electricity'. Anyone who thinks it is of ant consequencr, can't be appreciating the topic in any depth.
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