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Fundamental Electric Circuit

  • #1

Homework Statement


If I post this question in the wrong section please forgive me and direct me to the correct place.

I want to ask about how electric circuit works. Let's use a basic circuit, which has a battery, wire, and resistor, for the problem. From what I learned, the electrons move from the negative side of the battery, travel along the wire, through the resistor, and back to the positive end of the battery. I also learned that conventional current moves from positive end of the battery to the negative end.

Homework Equations


My questions are:
  1. Is it the electrons from the negative side of the battery push the electrons of the wire, causing the electrons move along the wire? If you could, please describe it at atomic level.
  2. Why is conventional current the opposite of electron flow?
  3. When air is present, will the positive end of the battery attract to the electrons of gas molecules?

The Attempt at a Solution


  1. Yes.
  2. It is only a convention we used. (So there is no real reason for that?)
  3. Yes, because "opposite attracts".

P.S. Sorry for my gramma mistakes, if any.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
supratim1
Gold Member
279
1
hello Louis! welcome to PF!

1. the potential difference between the terminals of the battery is the driving force for the electrons. the electrons in the chemicals of the battery try to move to higher potential, and the only path they got is the wire through resistor. each electron actually drifts very slowly. read about drift velocity and EMF (electromotive force) on net or some book.

2. its convention, because centuries ago physicists liked to believe current flows from positive to negative. that is followed now, to respect them.

3. No. the positive end is not positively charged, it is at higher potential. charges attract opposite charges, not potential. but some air molecules may get ionized after striking the end.
 

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