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Thread: Why current flows in opposite direction of electrons?

  1. #1 Why current flows in opposite direction of electrons? 
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    Hi, why the electric current flows in opposite direction of electrons??


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    Bullshit Intolerant PhDemon's Avatar
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    The conventional direction of current was assigned before electrons were discovered and it was not really known then what current was and it was thought to be a flow of positive "stuff". When the electron was discovered and it was realised they were responsible for current and current was a flow of negative electrons going the other way the concept of current going the "wrong" way was kept. Not sure why. Inertia of the idea? No one wanted to rewrite the text books? Bloody mindedness?


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    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    The conventional direction of current was assigned before electrons were discovered and it was not really known then what current was and it was thought to be a flow of positive "stuff". When the electron was discovered and it was realised they were responsible for current and current was a flow of negative electrons going the other way the concept of current going the "wrong" way was kept. Not sure why. Inertia of the idea? No one wanted to rewrite the text books? Bloody mindedness?
    Yes, it seems it all started with the 2 types of static electricity obtained by rubbing silk on glass and by fur on amber and Benjamin Franklin was responsible for assigning the terms +ve and -ve to them respectively. I found this on Wiki about the history of it all:-

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    When glass was rubbed with silk, du Fay said that the glass was charged with vitreous electricity, and, when amber was rubbed with fur, the amber was said to be charged withresinous electricity. In 1839, Michael Faraday showed that the apparent division between static electricity, current electricity, and bioelectricity was incorrect, and all were a consequence of the behavior of a single kind of electricityappearing in opposite polarities. It is arbitrary which polarity is called positive and which is called negative. Positive charge can be defined as the charge left on a glass rod after being rubbed with silk.[2]
    One of the foremost experts on electricity in the 18th century was Benjamin Franklin, who argued in favour of a one-fluid theory of electricity. Franklin imagined electricity as being a type of invisible fluid present in all matter; for example, he believed that it was the glass in a Leyden jar that held the accumulated charge. He posited that rubbing insulating surfaces together caused this fluid to change location, and that a flow of this fluid constitutes an electric current. He also posited that when matter contained too little of the fluid it was "negatively" charged, and when it had an excess it was "positively" charged. For a reason that was not recorded, he identified the term "positive" with vitreous electricity and "negative" with resinous electricity. William Watson arrived at the same explanation at about the same time.

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    Imagine if we were still speaking in terms of Vitreous and Resinous instead of +ve and -ve.

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