# Flow of charge through metal wire [closed]

It is the flow of charge that matters -- electrical current is defined as the flow of charge. " -person W

[...] if the flow of charge is all that matters; and electrons with their charge attached are all that flow through metal wires then wouldn't the electric current (defined as a the flow of charge) equal the electrons flowing because they are all that flow through wires. Protons don't flow through wires, so how could the proton and it's charge flow in the opposite direction of the electron flow if it doesn't move ?

Does the proton charge get detached from the proton by the force of the electron opposite from it. - person M

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## closed as unclear what you're asking by CuriousOne, user36790, ACuriousMind♦, Prahar, Bill NMay 4 '16 at 20:48

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

• Don't use unnecessary CAPS.... either use bold or italics to emphasize on something. – user36790 May 3 '16 at 3:25
• @MAFIA36790 I didn't. I did. where did I miss. – Max R. May 3 '16 at 3:30
• Read this : physics.stackexchange.com/a/60854/87401 . Your question is a possible duplicate of this answer's question. – Shubham May 3 '16 at 3:32
• @Shubham not so. that question was about charge in general i.e. N+ liquid, mine is about a metal wire. but it was getting there. – Max R. May 3 '16 at 3:41
• I really can't tell what you are asking. Protons don't flow in wires. Electrons do flow in wires, but their actual function is to transport the potential along the wire by shaping the electromagnetic field trough the boundary conditions set by their high charge density. This is not an explanation that one can give on the basic level of your question. It requires a full understanding of Maxwell's equations and their solutions near such boundaries. – CuriousOne May 3 '16 at 6:45

Electrons have a drift velocity which is very small. But electrons pass the charge. They do not flow with a charge on it. It's like dominoes that fall. The energy wave propagates through the falling dominoes, but the dominoes don't translate much.

Also it doesn't matter who is propagating the charge. Electrons and protons and charged ions- all can do that. If you say :

proton and it's charge flow in the opposite direction of the electron flow

Then, net current would be 2 times the current due to flow of negative charge only or positive charge only.

And this is incorrect:

proton charge get detached from the proton by the force of the electron opposite from it

• The energy wave propagates through the falling dominoes, but the dominoes don't translate much- what does that mean? How does, according to you, the energy propagate? I'm not getting that. – user36790 May 3 '16 at 3:49
• it means that the electrons are more or less stationary and it just passes the charge with negligible translational motion @MAFIA36790 – Shubham May 3 '16 at 3:50
• No; I'm talking about the energy.... how does it propagate? – user36790 May 3 '16 at 3:51
• @MAFIA36790 energy is the charge of the electron times the force applied to it (voltage). That way you can relate the energy to electrons. And that is just an example to make o.p understand better. You need not think too much in depth about it :) – Shubham May 3 '16 at 3:54
• ooh... I got the point. But still, it would be better to remember energy is not taken up electrons, passed to the next neighbourhood electrons and so on.... energy doesn't travel parallel to the flow of charges; it flows perpendicular to the flow- that is the direction of Poynting vector. – user36790 May 3 '16 at 3:58