This is a question we were asked quite some time ago: Consider a circuit shaped as a rectangle, with two very long straight wires (parallel to one another), connected on one end by a battery and on the other end by a resistor. We were asked to show--and this is not difficult--that if the resistance is large enough, the wires will attract rather than repel. (Due to the electrostatic force being stronger, in this case, than the magnetic force). In order for that to work out the wires have to actually be charged, not neutral. Is that the case? What is going on here? It has lead me to re-think my understanding of potential within a circuit altogether. I had previously thought of it as there being the same amount of charge on each side of the wire, but with each charge having V/q less energy of whatever type than the electrons on the other. I now think that is wrong. (Is it?) Thank you for your help!