# Why does using Conventional Flow work?

• Subjects
In summary, current flows from the power to the ground in a conventional circuit, while electron flow would result in current flowing from the ground to power. This difference in current flow can lead to potential drops in a circuit, which can affect the brightness of a light bulb.
Subjects
Hello, I've recently started reading about circuits. It was going good until I got to the idea of Conventional Flow. It confused me so I googled it and I can understand that people are used to it and scientists didn't know what an electron was when they thought about what was going on in circuits. However, I still don't understand when people say it doesn't matter if you use conventional Flow or Electron Flow when designing circuits.

For example, let's say we had a circuit that looked like this:

Using electron flow, the electrons would flow from the negative end of the battery,
go through the resistor and in doing so have it's voltage and current reduced,
then finally power the light and stop at the positive end of the battery.

Now if we used conventional flow, the current would flow from the positive end of
the battery and activate the light first and then have it's voltage reduced by the resistor.
Wouldn't using conventional flow cause problems in circuit designs seeing as current flows
as electrons in the opposite direction?

(I feel like I have some concepts wrong, so with that, please help me learn, thanks. Also, I read the forum guidelines and thought I should post here since it could be counted as "Independent study")

Potential drops occur as a result of current flow through a resistor. Voltage doesn't "flow", it just is the result of that current flow and resistance. That's the essence of Ohm's Law.

The light bulb's brightness depends upon the potential drop across it and current flowing through it (note that power dissipated is given by P = I*V). The same magnitude of potential drop occurs across a resistance no matter which direction the given current flows.

So the presence of the resistor will lower the current for the entire circuit?

Subjects said:
So the presence of the resistor will lower the current for the entire circuit?

Exactly. The same current flows through all components in a series-connected circuit.

Hi, the proper definition of current is the flow of charge. In most cases, the charge carrier is the negatively charged electron, but not always.The flow of a positive charge from positive to negative and the flow of a negative charge from negative to positive are identical and indistinguishable for most purposes. I use conventional flow because I find it easier to think of flow from positive to negative. Also the arrows on diodes and transistors point in the forward biased direction of conventional current flow, which makes it easier for me to understand a circuit's operation.
And most circuits with one supply, have a positive supply so the normal current flow is from the top (the power) to the bottom (ground) on a schematic.

As for the Light bulb. Light bulbs also has some resistance and don't forget that the current in a series circuit is everywhere the same.

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I understand now, I appreciate the help from both of you. Thanks!

## 1. Why is conventional flow used in electricity?

Conventional flow is used in electricity because it simplifies the understanding and analysis of electrical circuits. It is based on the assumption that current flows from the positive terminal of a voltage source to the negative terminal, which aligns with the direction of electron flow in most conductors.

## 2. How does conventional flow differ from electron flow?

In conventional flow, current is said to flow from positive to negative, while in electron flow, current actually flows from negative to positive. This is because conventional flow is based on the direction of current flow in a hypothetical positive charge carrier, while electron flow considers the actual movement of negatively charged electrons.

## 3. Why is conventional flow still used if it doesn't align with the movement of electrons?

Conventional flow is still used because it is a useful tool for understanding and analyzing electrical circuits. It allows for easier visualization and calculation of current and voltage in a circuit, and the results are still accurate and consistent with electron flow theory.

## 4. Can conventional flow and electron flow both be used to analyze circuits?

Yes, both conventional flow and electron flow can be used to analyze circuits. However, it is important to be consistent in the chosen convention throughout the analysis to avoid confusion and errors.

## 5. Are there any real-life applications where conventional flow is not applicable?

There are some special cases, such as in semiconductors, where conventional flow does not fully align with the movement of electrons. In these cases, electron flow is often used for analysis. However, for most practical applications, conventional flow is a reliable and convenient method for understanding and analyzing electrical circuits.

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