# Why is the anode (+) in a device that consumes power & (-) in one that provides power?

I was trying to figure out the flow of electrons in a battery connected to a circuit. Conventionally, current is from the (+) terminal to the (-) terminal of the battery. Realistically it flows the other way round; from the (-) terminal to the (+) terminal. My question is, assuming electron flow is from the (-) terminal, would the battery's cathode be located at the (+) terminal and it's anode at the (-) terminal or would it be vice versa?

Another question: Why would the anode be positive in a device that consumes power and negative in a device that provides power?

• Because Benjamin Franklin screwed up. :) – Ryan Thorngren Sep 8 '12 at 19:10
• "Consumes power" and "provides power" should be "consumes electrons" and "provides electrons." What provides power is the chemicals inside the battery. What consumes power is the load. It's charge that flows in a circle, not power. – Ben Crowell Jun 16 '13 at 14:45

$$i=\frac{dq}{dt}$$