1
$\begingroup$

When we talk about electricity through a circuit because of a battery it is said that the electrons from negative terminal travel to positive terminal of the battery.

I can't help but imagine about the free electrons in that wire, does the electrons of negative terminal repel them and in that way we say the electron move towards positive terminal? OR the electrons in the negative terminal itself only(with no involvement of wire electrons) moves towards positive terminal?

This might also answer my other question which is: does electrons move in an electric circuit like water moves in a pipe or the electrons of wire just repel and displace from their position?

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

I can't help but imagine about the free electrons in that wire, does the electrons of negative terminal repel them and in that way we say the electron move towards positive terminal?

The electric current is the movement of free electrons in response to the application of an electric field by the battery. The electric field applies a force to the free electrons making them move from the negative to positive terminal.

does electrons move in an electric circuit like water moves in a pipe or the electrons of wire just repel and displace from their position?

Water moves in a pipe in response to a pressure difference (mechanical force). You can think of that as analogous to electrons moving in a circuit due to a voltage difference. If you shut a valve in the pipe, flow stops. But if a pump is still running there is still a pressure difference as evidenced by a pressure gauge reading. You can think of the battery as analogous to the pump. If you open a switch in the electrical circuit current ceases, but there is still a voltage difference (electrical potential) across the battery terminals as evidenced by a voltmeter reading.

Hope this helps.

| cite | improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ This really helped, thanks. I have one more question: what about the generator, how does it creates a potential difference. In battery the Potential difference is created due to the electric field by electrons in negative terminal but what about generators?. $\endgroup$ – user253164 Jun 18 at 15:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @user253164 The battery converts chemical potential energy into electrical potential energy. Think of the generator as an electric motor where the input and output is reversed. An electric motor converts an electrical energy input into a mechanical energy output. A generator takes a mechanical energy input and converts it into an electrical energy output. $\endgroup$ – Bob D Jun 18 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ I get it but energy is converted to other forms when a body is moved from one place to another (eg:- kinetic energy) so similarly the electrons will have to do something when mechanical energy is provided so that electrical energy is formed. So what happens after mechanical energy is provided? How does the mechanical energy creates potential difference? $\endgroup$ – user253164 Jun 18 at 16:40
  • $\begingroup$ The electrical energy that a battery or generator provides is electrical potential energy. As far as how generators work is concerned, that's something you need to learn for yourself. Here's an introduction science.howstuffworks.com/electricity3.htm $\endgroup$ – Bob D Jun 18 at 17:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.