- #1

Sahara

- 8

- 0

Hello,

First of all, I'm not sure if this is in the right section, and I know it's probably a very basic question compared to all you levels of knowledge. So please if it isn't in the right section, let me know where I should post it, and if not thanks in advance for the help.

I'm trying to get an idea of what happens in a circuit in terms of electrons electric fields, etc. I know how to solve for basic things (voltage, current, etc) but I never really understood what exactly happens in the wires.

So this is what I think I understand in a simple resistor voltage source circuit. Please correct me if any of it is wrong!

The voltage source creates a potential difference across its terminals. So the conventional positive charges in the wire have a higher potential energy near the positive terminal and this allows them to do work. As they travel through the wires, they dissipate this energy through the resistances until they reach the same level of potential as the negative terminal of the battery. That's my general idea/theory of what happens.

Now moving on to the battery, there is an electric field across it that is caused by the charge inbalance. So point 1, 2 and 3 in the diagram have a different potential and moving a positive charge from those points would cause this charge to gain/lose potential energy. Is this correct?

This is where I get confused:

In the wire connected to the battery I'm trying to figure out if there is an electric field. If there were one, a charge that is at point 4 would reach a lower potential once it is at point 5 (this would be caused just by the fact that it is further away in the electric field (im ignoring the resistance in the wire)). But everytime I quantitatively analyse a circuit, the potential at those two points is the same. So the only explanation that i could think of is that there is no electric field in the wire so there is no potential drop between those two points. But this confused me even more cause if there isn't an electric field, what would cause the motion of electrons in the first place?

If anyone can enlighten me, it would be greatly appreciated!

First of all, I'm not sure if this is in the right section, and I know it's probably a very basic question compared to all you levels of knowledge. So please if it isn't in the right section, let me know where I should post it, and if not thanks in advance for the help.

I'm trying to get an idea of what happens in a circuit in terms of electrons electric fields, etc. I know how to solve for basic things (voltage, current, etc) but I never really understood what exactly happens in the wires.

So this is what I think I understand in a simple resistor voltage source circuit. Please correct me if any of it is wrong!

The voltage source creates a potential difference across its terminals. So the conventional positive charges in the wire have a higher potential energy near the positive terminal and this allows them to do work. As they travel through the wires, they dissipate this energy through the resistances until they reach the same level of potential as the negative terminal of the battery. That's my general idea/theory of what happens.

Now moving on to the battery, there is an electric field across it that is caused by the charge inbalance. So point 1, 2 and 3 in the diagram have a different potential and moving a positive charge from those points would cause this charge to gain/lose potential energy. Is this correct?

This is where I get confused:

In the wire connected to the battery I'm trying to figure out if there is an electric field. If there were one, a charge that is at point 4 would reach a lower potential once it is at point 5 (this would be caused just by the fact that it is further away in the electric field (im ignoring the resistance in the wire)). But everytime I quantitatively analyse a circuit, the potential at those two points is the same. So the only explanation that i could think of is that there is no electric field in the wire so there is no potential drop between those two points. But this confused me even more cause if there isn't an electric field, what would cause the motion of electrons in the first place?

If anyone can enlighten me, it would be greatly appreciated!

#### Attachments

Last edited: