1
$\begingroup$

We know that when we have 2 oppositely charged objects (As in static electricity for example), when one of these materials will come in touch with a neutral conductor, there will be a discharge - which means - the transfer of electrons from one material to another in order to reach equilibrium. My question is: is discharge different from electric current? Are they the same thing?

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Any stream of charged particles like electrons and protons and ions moving trough a medium or vacuum can be called as electric current. It's up to you to define what you call current and what you call electrical dscharge.

In a close circuit, the battery supply energy (by electric potental difference) for electrons to move in the circuit. Electrons move slowly and lose their energy in order to feed electrical devices in the circuit. In such cases, the electric current is defined as $I=Q/t$. So, it's a stream of electrons moving through a conductor.l but the speed of charged particles is often very low. I think electric current is usually a human-controlled process by definition.

In electric discharge, the energy of charged particles releases suddenly. It's a kind of electric current but the term "electric discharge" emphasizes that the total energy can be used in an electric device such as camera flash.

Hope this helps a bit!

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ "Discharge" isn't always fast - we use the term to describe releasing energy from a storage device such as a capacitor or battery, while a continuous source such as a dynamo would not be thought of as discharging. See also the antonym "charge" as in charging a capacitor. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jun 10 at 12:22

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.