Understanding Conventional Current vs Electron Flow

  • Thread starter physicsgal
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In summary,-The current flowing through a television set is usually 60 watts.-The tv uses about 0.54545 amps of energy in 1 hour.
  • #1
physicsgal
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"explain the difference between 'conventional current' and 'electron flow'. why were two conventions developed?

my answer: 'Conventional current' describes the current flowing out of the positive terminal into the negative terminal. 'Electron flow' just describes the net movement of the negative charge

im not sure what the second part of the question is about. what do they mean by 'conventions?'

~Amy
 
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  • #2
physicsgal said:
"explain the difference between 'conventional current' and 'electron flow'. why were two conventions developed?

my answer: 'Conventional current' describes the current flowing out of the positive terminal into the negative terminal. 'Electron flow' just describes the net movement of the negative charge

im not sure what the second part of the question is about. what do they mean by 'conventions?'

~Amy
You should familiarize yourself with Google. This was on page 1.

http://www.mi.mun.ca/users/cchaulk/eltk1100/ivse/ivse.htm
 
  • #3
I didn't follow the google link, but physicsgal, the "conventional" positive current flow is just in the opposite direction from the electron flow. That's all they're getting at.
 
  • #4
When Benjamin Franklin was first studying electricity, he discovered there were two types of charge that an object could have. He decided to call them positive and negative. (We now know that a positive charge comes from a deficiency in electrons and a negative charge comes from an excess of electrons, which is why we call electrons negatively charged and protons positively charge).

Franklin then stated that it was the positive charge that moves in an electric current. Many years later, subatomic particles (protons, neutrons, and electrons) were discovered and scientists realized that it was actually the much smaller electrons that moved causing an electric current.

Thus, the "conventional method" is Franklin's thinking: positive to negative. In reality we know that the reverse is true: electrons flow from negative to positive.
 
  • #5
thanks for the tips :smile: it makes sense now.

here's what i wrote.

When scientists first studied the current of conductors, they did not understand what was carrying the electrical charge, so they described the flow of the current from the positive terminal to the negative terminal as a "conventional current".

Later it was discovered that negatively charged electrons that were responsible for the electrical charge moved in the opposite direction of the current, this was described as "electron flow'. Electron flow describes the net movement of the negative charge

~Amy
 
  • #6
another quick question:

"a tv set has a rater power of 60.0W and is plugged into a 110 V household outlet"
a) what is the value of the current flowing through the tv?

I = P/V
= 60W/110V
= 0.54545 Amp

b) How much energy does the tv use in 1 hour?
so 1 hr = 3600 seconds
Q = It
= (0.54545amps)(3600s)
= 1963.65C

E = QV
= (1963.65)(110V)
= 216,001.5J

is that pretty much accurate?

~Amy
 
  • #7
Looks correct, although I would do the 2nd one just as power * time directly. BTW, keep in mind that AC mains voltage is given in RMS, so that's why you can just multiply it by the RMS current (which is what you are given). Of course, that assumes that the voltage and current are in phase (negligible reactance in the load), which is a simplification.
 
  • #8
60W * 3600s = 216,000. thanks!

~Amy
 

1. What is the difference between conventional current and electron flow?

Conventional current refers to the direction of flow of positive charges, while electron flow refers to the direction of flow of negative charges. In most circuits, conventional current is used as the standard, even though electrons are actually the ones flowing.

2. Why is conventional current used as the standard in most circuits?

Conventional current was established before the discovery of electrons, and it was initially thought that positive charges were the ones that flowed. Therefore, it became the standard and is still used today for consistency and convenience.

3. Does the direction of conventional current and electron flow always have to be opposite?

No, in some cases, such as in a vacuum tube or in an electrolytic cell, the direction of conventional current and electron flow can be the same. However, in most common circuits, they are opposite.

4. How does the concept of conventional current and electron flow relate to the flow of electricity?

Electricity is the flow of electric charge, and conventional current and electron flow both refer to the direction of this flow. However, they have opposite directions, with conventional current flowing from positive to negative and electron flow flowing from negative to positive.

5. Is it important to understand the difference between conventional current and electron flow?

Yes, it is important for scientists and engineers to understand the concept of conventional current and electron flow in order to properly analyze and design circuits. It also helps to understand the underlying principles of electricity and how it behaves in different systems.

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