# Electric circuit, reversing current

## Homework Statement

Lets say that I have an electric circuit with an amp and volt meter attached to it and i reverse the direction of the current from the power supply.. what will happen to the reading of both the volt meter and the amp meter?

## The Attempt at a Solution

My guess is that the amp meter have the opposite sign of the original one and the volt meter will read the same as the normal one... correct me if I am wrong

First of all, the meters must be connected the right way (i.e. the red cable to + -terminal and black to the - -terminal) otherwise it won't show the correct values. But if there was a meter that worked no matter how you connect it, in your case what would the resistance be? Not the value, but the sign?

it would be negative??

it would be negative??

Exactly. Are there resistors that can be negative? If you put negative resistance to Ohm's law V=R*I, you get -V. What does that mean in the circuit and is that effect possible?

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is there such thing as a negative resistance?

is there such thing as a negative resistance?

That's the million dollar question! If there were, wouldn't it raise the voltage in the circuit? Is it possible to raise voltage without energy?

I guess there isn't a way to raise voltage without energy

I guess there isn't a way to raise voltage without energy

That's right. So to return to your original question, what the amp and volt meter read? Would they be as you originally thought or would they be altered some way?

I guess the amp meter would read negative and as well as the volt meter

I guess the amp meter would read negative and as well as the volt meter

What does the sign in front of the amp value indicate? Is it just the magnitude of the value or could it be something else?

the sign indicates the direction of the flow of the current.. so if it were reading positive the first time and negative when we reverse it, means that the current if flowing in the opposite direction now

Amp meters always read the current so that, what goes in through their "input" and goes out through "output" is positive. After we reversed the current, the meter would have its "input" where the "output" was, because of the current's flow. So if it read negative values, what would that mean?

as I said the current is flowing in the opposite direction

as I said the current is flowing in the opposite direction

No. Eventhough we don't physically alter the amp meter's position, it would reverse its output and input. And that way the negative reading would indicate the current is flowing in the same direction as we started. So: the readings would stay the same, both still positive.

But after all this complicated and perhaps confusing discussion, you should always remember that the meters work only if they are correctly connected and that there aren't meters that would work as we assumed.

yes that is correct... I am pretty sure that it's connected accordingly...