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Electron flow ?

  1. Jun 28, 2009 #1
    I am looking in my differential equations book , and it shows electricity flowing from the positive to the negative , this seems wrong to me ,
    i thought electrons flow away form the negative to the positive , because like charges repel .
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 28, 2009 #2
    The current is 'defined' to flow from positive to negative. This was established before people knew about electrons, and is actually completely arbitrary. It just turned out later that the electrons are negative and thus flow from negative to positive instead. We simply kept the direction of current as it was, so now, the direction of electron flow and the direction of the current are exactly opposite.
  4. Jun 28, 2009 #3
    o i got ya
  5. Jun 29, 2009 #4
    its called 'conventional current'.
  6. Jun 29, 2009 #5
    it's benjamin franklin's fault (not a joke)
  7. Jun 29, 2009 #6
  8. Jun 29, 2009 #7


    Staff: Mentor

    Note that there are situations (like current in an electrolyte) where some of the charge carriers are positive. For most things it doesn't matter if a current is due to positive charges moving one way, negative charges moving the opposite, or a mix of both.
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