NOTE: This is NOT a homework question. I was reading a physics textbook for fun (doesn't everyone nowadays?) and could barely got through the first couple of page the chapter on electric currents because this question was not addressed in the book. Question 1) If you connect the negative and positive ends (of say a battery) how do the electrons know to move through the wire to the positive end (wires are pretty long)? I mean, I know that in a battery, there is a positive and negative end that is separated from each other, but wouldn't there still be an electric attractive force between them that pulls them closer to each other (even though they are resticted by the sticky material that separates the charges)? Then why would the electrons move away from each other temporarily and travel a long distance to get to the positive side? But note that whenever you cut the wire or something and you lose the connection, the electrons stop flowing to the positive side (like in a lightbulb). I researched in a couple of books and all they said was that there is an electric field in the wire and that causes the electrons to move. BUT a wire is usually pretty long (especially compared to the miniscule electron, relatively speaking) and thus the electric field would be virtually zero, right? Thanks!