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This question already has an answer here:

electric current flows from higher potential area (negative terminal) to lower potential area (positive terminal).this clearly indicates that electric flow (flow of electrons) takes place from negative pole to positive pole. then why are we still using the conventional flow of electric current (from positive pole to negative pole) which proposes a false statement - "electric current flows from lower potential area (positive pole) to higher potential area (negative pole)".

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marked as duplicate by John Rennie, Qmechanic Mar 28 '17 at 17:19

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The terminologies you make use of in your question seem a bit vague to me.

Conventially, electric current was defined to be the flow of positive charges. It was thought that solely positive charges could give a current.
The reason why they didn't switch the definition of current from the rate of flow of positive charge to the rate of flow of negative charge could be because the process would be simply cumbersome.

From the definition of electric cutrent: The time rate of flow of positive charges, it follows that current will flow from a higher potential to a lower potential.
Potential is simply the work done to bring a unit positive charge from infinity to that point. If the potential at a point B is less than the potential at a point A, it simply means that the work done to bring a unit positive charge to B is less than the work done to bring a unit positive charge to A. So naturally, a charge which is, say, midway between A and B, would tend to move towards B.
From the above explanation of potential it's quite logical that current (assumed to be a stream of positive charges) flows from higher potential to a lower potential.

Electrons on the other hand tend to flow from lower potential to higher potential (B to A). This is because the absolute value of the work done to bring an electron to B is more than the absolute value of the work done to bring an electron to A. In other words, since A is at a higher potential, it has a higher affinity for a negative charge than B.

Moving on. Though the direction of the flow of electrons is opposite to the flow of positive charge. The direction of the electronic current would have the same direction as that of the conventional current. This is because current is defined in that way! (The flow of negative charge in one direction can be assumed as the flow of an equal amount of positive charge in the other direction.)

Though in most cases it is the electrons which give us the current, there do exist cases where positive charges (as occuring in the definition of current) amount to a current. This is the usual case in batteries where both positive and negative charges give rise to a current. In discharge tubes, both positive ions and electrons give rise to current.

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  • $\begingroup$ nice explanation !!:) $\endgroup$ – omi Mar 31 '17 at 1:25
  • $\begingroup$ @omi I believe that's sarcastic:/ $\endgroup$ – Kunal Pawar Mar 31 '17 at 2:43

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