1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Electron Negativity

  1. Jul 26, 2005 #1
    Why are electrons negative?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 26, 2005 #2
    Because they are uncertain as to where they are and where they are going?

    Well, from a charge point of view it's arbitrary - we could easily call electrons positive and protons negative and the show will go on. But historically, current was observed before electrons were known about. Current flows from higher to lower potentials, and it probably would not have occurred to anyone to call this 'negative current' in absence of any corresponding current flowing the other way, so this was chosen as positive. Electrons flow in the opposite direction to conventional current flow, so are negative.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook